By Pastor Nathan Richardson, Heartland Community Church
I attended a church a few years ago that said “No Perfect People Allowed Here.” Despite this stated mission, it seemed as if there were still some members that were better than others at life. Life just seemed easier for them. They succeeded easily. They had amazing paying jobs, traveled the world and had trophy wives.
I was drawn to this one couple that, by all standards, had everything that the world viewed as success. After attending church there for a few months, the man who was a Vice President in a large company shared his personal story. He spoke how he had climbed the corporate ladder, had an amazing family, the money, and even loved Jesus with all his heart, but still suffered from anxiety. He even had an experience that was so bad he had to be hospitalized for treatment.
The person that I saw from a distance and in casual conversation had seemed perfect, yet he was actually flawed. He seemed more real and relatable. After sharing his story with the church, he seemed more approachable.
At times we put unrealistic standards on ourselves because of how we perceive others to be. Due to this we keep our imperfections to ourselves. When we do this we miss a chance to grow. We miss a chance to share our story. And we miss a chance to impact someone else’s story. Oswald Chambers once said, “Every saint has a past, every sinner has a future.” When we share our stories we encourage each other by hearing our pasts and giving a hope for the future.
Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”