Perfection Doesn’t Equal Success

Broken to beautiful is a great description of what’s happened in my life and what I believe happens in any Christian’s life. Jesus takes the parts of us that are broken, messy, and hurtful and is able to restore us. Maybe not to the way we were before, but in a way that is much better than before.

Something has been made clear in my life as of late. I think in the past I have missed a very important step in redemption- and that is simply the fact that Jesus redeems. He sanctifies. He gives us the gift of grace- All we have to do is take it.

This is simple in theory. However, in practice, I find it much more challenging. If you know anything about the enneagram (which I’m sure most people at this point do), you’ll understand a bit of what I’m about to explain. I am a 3 on the enneagram.

To give a brief synopsis of what a three is like, I have provided a few bullet points from The Road Back To You by Ian Morgan Cron and Suzanne Stabile (Great book & study, you should definitely read this after you finish my blog).

What it’s like to be a three-

It’s important to come across as a winner.

I know how to airbrush failure so it looks like success

The keys to my happiness are efficiency, productivity, and being acknowledged as the best.

The enneagram name for the 3 type is The Performer. 3’s believe they will be loved and valued through their successes/works. They can be world changers, but also workaholics. Somewhere along the way in their life, the 3 began to believe that their worth relies on their work. Their life’s purpose is wrapped up in their performance.

Given these things, grace is a difficult pill for a 3 to swallow- But I think it’s something (regardless of your enneagram number) people wrestle with. I know that my faith is not reliant on my works, but it’s hard for me to not shift into that mode when I mess up. When I make a mistake, my immediate response is to fix it and then run to Jesus. However, it should be the other way around.

Because of my desire to “fix” everything, my immediate response when I feel shame or embarrassment over that misstep is to find some way to fix it. There is nothing wrong with that, but it shouldn’t be my first step.

I was riding in the car one weekend with my boyfriend Clay. Clay is a student pastor and just honestly has an incredible knowledge of the Word. He loves the Lord and speaks a lot of encouragement and wisdom into my life. I often share with him my blog ideas and I told him that I had a new series in mind. I shared how I wanted to use parts of my story to help other women/young ladies find healthier friendships/relationships. I wanted to use my past to help them create a healthier present. I know I didn’t think this straight up, but somewhere in my head I felt making something useful of my missteps would redeem me.

Clay thought my idea was a solid one, but he began to say something that would really make me think over the next few weeks. He said “Bailey, that’s wonderful. But you have to remember that there is grace for you. You don’t have to do things to receive mercy and redemption, it’s already there.” Simple in theory, more difficult in practice.

I’ve been wresting with this conversation for a solid month and thinking about how I can better approach past and future mistakes. I think the first step is realizing my worth is not defined by my works. My purpose is not wrapped up in my performance. The Lord’s grace is not dependent upon my desire to “fix” what’s broken. His grace is freely given when I ask for it.

I would challenge you as I challenge myself. Do I allow Jesus to redeem me? Do I allow His grace to wash over me and know that it is enough? I am not saying you shouldn’t right your wrongs; however, sometimes wrongs cannot always be made right. You cannot always fix what has been broken.

If you can make wrongs right again, then you should. 100%. But, know that your first step should be towards Jesus and that His grace is enough to make you white as snow. You don’t have to work to receive it; it’s a gift. I think when I/we start viewing it that way, we will view ourselves and our relationships in a much healthier way.

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