Fruitfulness over Flawlessness

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Read

“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD. He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17:7-8

Reflect

I woke up this morning (after staying up late to finish and submit a sub-par essay) feeling sick and fatigued. I struggled to find the motivation to swing my feet off the bed and place them on the floor. Sometimes this simple motion itself is a massive act of faith and courage.

I’m only beginning to learn the art of “doing the next right thing” in seasons of exhaustion and affliction. At least for me, but I suspect for some of you also, it feels so difficult to just keep going because I typically refuse to do anything I can’t accomplish safely and flawlessly. When my hands are tired, I would rather sit on them and be paralyzed than put them to the plow in faith and obedience. The latter requires I trust in God’s ability more than in my own contributions...and my sinful flesh cries out in protest.

I have often prioritized flawlessness over fruitfulness under the guise of, “I need to give God my best!” While this is true in and of itself (Colossians 3:23), it doesn’t mean we should become unfruitful in eternal matters as a result of an obsession with perfection in earthly matters. Perfectionism is paralyzing, especially in seasons where our weaknesses are exceptionally apparent. May we instead choose to offer God these weaknesses in faith-filled obedience as we wait for restoration.

Pray

Father, help me trust where I doubt that You can work good things from out of my endless shortcomings. Cause me to choose humility and simple obedience rather than the pride, procrastination, and unfruitfulness of perfectionism. Help me refuse the lie that “nothing” is better than “a little thing offered in faith” when perfection isn’t an option...and break my pride when it tells me that anything I have ever done has been perfect in the first place. In the name of Jesus, Amen.

Your Turn

What area do you feel the strongest tendency to seek perfection (and if not perfection, then unrealistic progress)? What good have you seen God work from your failures in this area?


JESSICA HAGEMAN

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Jessica is a native to the Appalachian mountains of Asheville, North Carolina, although she now resides in northern Virginia with her husband. She has been a lover of reading since elementary school and a lover of Christ since high school. She is a full time English major, in hopes that her studies will help her more effectively minister to other through written words. Her favorite things in the world are British tea, old books, autumn leaves, dry humor, and rainy weather. Her goal as a writer is to demonstrate how the Gospel, objective truth, and sound theology are not only applicable, but essential, to all aspects of life as a woman, especially in a world that celebrates sin, false doctrine, and self-sufficiency.