There’s one thing I’ve always really, really wanted. I know many people that have had it. In fact, you may have it right now. Sometimes I sit and daydream about what it would be like for me to have one of my very own. I even catch the sides of my lips curling up into a goofy grin at the very thought of it.
A bathroom all to myself.
I want it bad. But it has always eluded me. There’s always been a parent, roommate or spouse that I’ve had to share my bathroom space with.
Younger Me had visions of a space all my own with an assortment of pretty smelling lotions and perfumes sitting on the counter, everything positioned just so. But life just didn’t work out that way.
For the most part, I’d come to terms with my lot in life. But as of late, my desire for my own little powder room has been reawakened. And it’s all because of this:
Toothpaste. Specifically the toothpaste cap.
I’m assuming that it takes some sort of mammoth strength to get the cap onto the toothpaste tube correctly because my dear, sweet husband has a knack for simply placing the cap on top of the tube without screwing it on at all. He’s got no time for such things, apparently.
And it drives me crazy. You might find it hard to believe that something so small could drive one so crazy, but I can assure you, it does. Why can’t he remember to do that one simple thing? I mean honestly, is it really too much to ask?
Me personally, I always do things the right way. I don’t make mistakes. I’m above it all, really. I’ve ascended to a point in life where each and every thing I do and say is more or less the ideal way that a thing should be handled. So you see, I am in the perfect position to make a great, big fuss about screwing the cap on a tube of toothpaste.
Ok, so perhaps on extremely rare occasion, I don’t make the best decisions. Very rare. Once or twice a year (at most!) I experience slight lapses in judgment. But they’re usually very small and minor in nature. Just a blip on the radar screen. Other than that, I’m batting 1000 over here. So I just don’t get why Dear, Sweet Husband can’t get it together.
Alright, who are we kidding here? I’m a mess! I do a fairly good job with the toothpaste cap. But in many ways, my credentials end there. I can be impatient, self-centered and inconsiderate. I can pray about doing the right thing one minute and turn around and do the wrong thing the next.
As human beings we have a way of minimizing our own errors and magnifying the faults of others. We’re highly comfortable analyzing other people’s shortcomings, but when it comes to our own missteps, we’re full of excuses and justifications.
I think that’s part of the reason why reality TV is so popular. It gives us a chance to critique the drama in other people’s lives instead of confronting the dysfunction in our own.
“Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.” – Matthew 7:3-5
There’s a clinical definition for this, you know. Well, I don’t know if it’s clinical or not, but the concept of having a sense of superiority over others and a feeling of self-importance? It has a name. It’s called arrogance.
Have you realized the hypocrisy, arrogance and duplicity we’re so quick to point out in others also lives inside of us?
You probably don’t like to think of yourself in this light, (I know I don’t!) but we have a tendency to hang stuff over people’s heads when we feel they have stepped on our toes, so to speak – when they have hurt our feelings, been inconsiderate, or caused us pain.
“How could he have said that?”
“What would make her do that?”
“That wasn’t the right way for her to handle that situation. Personally, I would have …”
You would have what? Done it perfectly? Demonstrated what the standard of what right and pure is?
“Be like God”
In the Garden of Eden, Eve made a fatal mistake. She believed the serpent’s lie that she could be like God. And we still embrace this faulty thinking today. We want to be like God. God is perfect, all-powerful, all-knowing and has no ability for failure within Him. When we encounter difficult situations and people fall short of our expectations, we can be deceived into thinking we are like God and are in a position to condemn people for their failures, as if we don’t have any of our own.
I want to tell you a secret. Lean in close. I don’t want everyone to see.
A little closer.
There, that’s it. Ready?
You’re not God. You’re a human.
So is everyone else around here. We’re all humans.
Deep stuff, right? Let me tell you what this means. Humans do what humans do. They make mistakes!
You and I are by nature imperfect beings. There’s just no getting around that. So the next time someone offends you, pick your jaw up from the floor and show them some grace.
Grace = giving people permission to be human
“Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” – Ephesians 4:32
God is the only perfect one, the only one who stands in a position to condemn us for our shortcomings and failures. But He doesn’t. He shows us grace. So if He’s not walking around with His nose in the air, then neither should you.
These concepts are all well and good in theory, but what about when someone really hurts you? What about when your husband is inconsiderate? Or your friends are disloyal? Or your kids are unappreciative?
Shift your focus from the offense to the grace you’ve received from God. And then show that same grace to others.
Do you know who suffers most when you choose not to extend grace to someone? It’s not the other person. It’s you.
I think of how many grudges I have held and how much brain power has been wasted rehearsing and re-rehearsing how someone has offended me. My mind was trapped, paralyzed and frozen on the issue, so much so that I could get little else done, and I was distracted from accomplishing much more important things.
The same grace that God gives to you, give to others. In fact, give it to yourself. Give yourself permission to be a human and relish in the fact that you are not God but you are lavishly loved by Him.
Who do you need to extend grace to today? Is there someone that you need to give “permission to be human?”
Maybe you need to extend grace to yourself. If you don’t extend grace to yourself, it will be very difficult for you to extend it to anyone else.
If you’ve been pursuing perfection, cut it out. I repeat: Cut it out! There is nothing admirable about pursuing perfection. Only God is perfect. To demand that you, or anyone else, attains perfection, is to suppose that God will share His uniquely divine attributes with another. And He will not.
Do your best. Work hard. But do not pursue perfection.
Perfectionism is not a noble pursuit. It is a prison.
Do you struggle with arrogance? Do you need to ask for someone’s forgiveness because of your arrogant attitude? Then, do it!
However you feel God prompting you, respond! Allow yourself to walk in the full freedom God has for you by releasing yourself and others from unrealistic and unattainable expectations.