I recently heard someone using the term ‘brilliantly flawed’. This caught my attention as it reminded me of an awesome encounter I had with God some years ago. I attended a course at the Ellel Ministries Centre here in South Africa in 2008. During one of the sessions we were each given a sea shell and encouraged to prayerfully wait on the Lord to speak His truth to our hearts, concerning His love for us. The Lord did exactly that. He spoke a deep, reassuring truth to my vulnerable heart.
The shell I received was almost heart-shaped, and beautiful on the outside, with lovely yellowish-brown lines around the top of it. God focussed my attention on the layers around the outside of the shell. He told me that He would be building layer upon layer, precept upon precept into my life as He was equipping me for His service (Isaiah 28:10). Each layer would be to prepare me, and strengthen me, for what He’d planned for me.
When I turned the shell around, it was white and smooth on the inside. But on one side it had what looked like an ugly brown smudge and a little crack. I said to the Lord, “Look at this ugly smudge, Lord! It spoils the lovely white inside of this shell. Does this mean I am flawed?” Without skipping a beat God answered me – almost as if He anticipated my response to what I would see: “My child, this brown smudge you see is what makes you unique and different from every other person I ever created. It doesn’t represent an imperfection, but rather your unique make-up - My brilliant design of you.”
I’ve never forgotten God’s words to me. Whenever I see things inside me that I assess to be flaws, I take them to the Lord. Sometimes these are things that I do need to repent of – attitudes, judgements, and actions that don’t accurately reflect Jesus in me. However, sometimes these ‘flaws’ – my unique characteristics and personality traits which God created in me - are magnified by the enemy of my soul to resemble ugly cracks and smudges.
On my journey with God, His Holy Spirit is teaching me that false expectations of myself, the high, unreasonable standards that I set for myself, are often far removed from what my heavenly Father asks of me. When I attempt to live up to my own human standards, or man’s standards, I’ll always feel inadequate, weak and flawed. God’s design – His standard for me as His beloved child - is the only thing I should aspire to. Micah 6:8 has become a plumb-line in my life: ‘He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?’
When you see those ‘flaws’ in yourself, remember that we are ‘brilliantly flawed’ by design – exactly as God intended us to be. Allow Him to show you who you are, and who He designed you to be.
Prayer: Thank You, Lord, that You truly know me and that I can rest secure in the knowledge of Your love. Thank You that You’re busy teaching me to trust Your sovereign hand upon the details of my life. Help me to walk in the truth of who You created me to me, and to delight in who I am in You. Amen.
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