It may be a little premature to talk about a Christmas character at the beginning of the fall season, but Rudolph the reindeer is a classic example of a perceived imperfection. As the tale goes, he was treated as a misfit by his fellow reindeer because he had a red nose. His red nose made him a perfect target of ridicule and shame. One of his team members even tried to cover his nose with mud to make it less visible so he would look more like his fellow reindeer.
Of course, we all know how this story ends with Rudolph becoming the hero who saves Christmas. With his red nose, he leads Santa’s team of reindeer through a blinding snowstorm making it possible for Santa to deliver presents throughout the world. His destiny went beyond what others thought of him.
As humans, sometimes we are our worst enemies. Not only do we allow others to fit us into their square root of acceptability, but we swallow these non-nutritious ingredients and allow others to remind us of our flaws. We carry our bad choices, mistakes, and screwups as a backpack in our souls. Our mistakes manifest as guilt, shame, embarrassment, unforgiveness, anger, jealousy, low self-esteem—worse, a low opinion of ourselves and a whole barrel of other “stuff.” Horror of horrors, we are imperfect!
Since the beginning when God created humanity and gave us free will, we have been imperfect. Man and woman could have remained innocent and lived completely under the care of their Father, but they chose to operate as free thinkers, a choice that changed them and the lives of the entire world.
Some of the greatest servants of God had their share of imperfections including: lying, cheating, murdering, adultery, lust, cowardice, ad infinitum. You see, “…there is nothing new under the sun.” (Ecclesiastes 1:9)
And what about our personal views and the opinions of others concerning our physical attributes: nose, lips, height, body type, size, hair? Frequently, we are threatened or intimidated by someone who we think is more attractive or has different physical features than we have. When we allow these to become our crowing roosters, we place barbed wire around God’s purpose for our life.
Living by faith is like giving water to a thirsty plant. When watered, the plant begins to stand upward, and its beauty returns. Likewise, when we believe we are “fearfully and wonderfully made,” and that God has designed each of us for a specific purpose, we thrive. (Psalm 139:14) He sees beyond our mirror and the eyes of others. His goal is not to change or correct our physical unchangeables. His view of us is inward and not outward. He seeks to change our hearts. (Romans 12:2)
As for mistakes, bad choices, and screw-ups, they are bruises that have two benchmarks for healing. First, seek God’s forgiveness His Way, secondly, forgive yourself. Both lead to freedom. “Whom the Son has set free, is free indeed. (John 14:6; 8:36)
We are all a little peculiar, and all are imperfect, but we are all perfectly loved by God. Resting in this truth, gives us perfect focus!