Have you ever let your imperfection keep you from Jesus? I have.
And I’m here to say, no matter how imperfect you are, don’t believe the lie that Jesus needs you to be perfect for you to draw near to him! Never!
He came specifically because HE KNOWS we are not perfect. We can never be perfect without him. And it is only through him that we can be perfected.
But what about the imperfection that keeps us away? This is my testimony of how long I believed that lie and how Christ finally freed me from it. Praise the Lord for his freedom!
I was sitting against the wall at basketball practice…
…with a few other teammates waiting for our turn for drills. Out of the blue, my friend turned to me and asked,
“If you died today where would you go, heaven or hell?”
Without hesitation, I said, “I would go to hell.”
Once asked, that was not a question I could shake off.
It literally haunted me for days, then months. I grew up in a Christian family and I understood that making a commitment to follow Jesus was a big deal and something I should do. But I just couldn’t do it. I might have only been in eighth grade, and I was a “good” person on the outside but on the inside I knew who I really was. I didn’t understand my value to Christ and Satan was using that for all it was worth.
Not long after that conversation, my grandfather, whom I adored, sat me down at his kitchen table to talk. We always talked, so that wasn’t anything new, but this time it was specifically about my salvation. Love exuded from him. Even though I don’t remember what I said, I do remember how I felt and what I believed. He explained many things, but I couldn’t shake the lie that I had to be better before I could be saved.
In my mind, until I got that one big sin under control, I wasn’t worthy of Christ.
In my desire to be clean for Jesus, I didn’t realize that He is the only one who can cleanse my heart. I remember the internal struggle. I sit here crying as I remember screwing up once again and thinking, “I’m never going to be worthy. This is never going to leave my life. Why me? Why am I stuck with this? Why can’t I get over it?”
My grandfather never got to see me give my life to Christ. Only a few months later, he passed away. His death made his point all the more real…one day we will leave this earth and we will spend eternity somewhere.
After my grandfather passed away, I was devastated. I remember waking up at a slumber party at 4:11 a.m. not knowing why, only to find out the next day that was the exact time he passed away. Although I didn’t see it then, God was working. He was using different people in my life to bring me to Him.
BUT I still couldn’t fathom why he would want me the way that I was. I believed I had to be better for a Savior who was perfect before I could follow him.
The Truth sets us FREE
Thankfully, others did not give up on telling me the truth even though I’d heard it before. Some needed to plant, some needed to water, right? Well, that principle was definitely happening in my life in regards to rinsing this lie off my heart. I’ll never forget the day my Bible class teacher asked if he could study the Bible with me the following Saturday. I knew what he wanted to talk about and I agreed. That day, one by one, he walked me through Bible verses that showed the truth. Finally, I started to see the truth and see Satan’s lie for what it was…a lie!
From that moment on, I got so excited! I realized there was nothing I could do to make myself clean. Truly, Jesus is the only One who can wash all our sins away. And better yet, He wants to wash us clean no matter how dirty we are! By following him, we no longer have to be slaves to sin!
is one of the reasons why when we read our Bible together as a family, we make it a point to show how God uses imperfect people. Only One who walked this earth was perfect. He died so that all of us imperfects would know true relief from our sins, our shame, and the chains Satan binds us with emotionally, physically, and spiritually.
See, Satan wants us to believe this lie. His goal is to keep us as far away from Christ and his redeeming love as possible. When we start to believe that Christ will meet us right where we are, Satan begins to lose his hold over us. He will try everything to tighten his “death grip” so that we will continue to doubt instead of running to Jesus and trusting him with our lives.
We do not need to be perfect to come to Christ. We do have to be willing to surrender ourselves and follow Christ.
Proof You Do NOT Need to Be Perfect to Come to Christ!
If you struggle with the idea that you have to be perfect to come to Jesus, read over these passages. Let that lie crumble! These verses (and many others) showed me I couldn’t get rid of my imperfections by myself. Only by putting my faith in Jesus as my Lord and Savior to take away all my sins, did I understand I could come to him in my imperfect state.
As always, it is good to dig into the context of these verses so you get the full picture.
John 3:16-18 – We have to trust that Jesus died for our sins…all of them!
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God’s one and only Son.
Hebrews 10:14 – Jesus’ sacrifice
For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.
Romans 3:21-24 – All have sinned, everyone is imperfect
There is no difference between Jew and Gentile, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.
Did you catch that? “ALL have sinned” and “ALL are justified” by Christ’s grace! That means no one is perfect before they come to Christ, only after.
(Romans, by the way, is an amazing book on how Christ’s blood covers us. A total must read!)
Ephesians 2:8-10 – Salvation is God’s gift to us
For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
Romans 5:6-8 – Christ died for us sinners aka the imperfects!
You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
Acts 2:38 – We can repent of all the sinful things we’ve done
Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call.”
Romans 6:3-7 – No longer slaves to sin and will be resurrected with Christ!
Or don’t you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we will certainly also be united with him in a resurrection like his. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin— because anyone who has died has been set free from sin.
(The entire of Romans 6 is great for clearing up this lie!)
Hebrews 12:1-3 – Christ is the perfecter of our faith, not us
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
Let God’s truths set you free!
Lord, we praise you with all that we are! While we were still stuck in our sins, you sent Christ to die for us. To save us! You count us worthy and love us, even when we are ashamed of everything we’ve done. You hold your arms open to us and tell us to run straight into them. You’ve missed us and want an everlasting relationship with us. Help the lies that Satan uses to hold us from you to fall from our eyes. Help us believe your truth instead. Let us be in your word so we can fight the lies of Satan away from our hearts. Let him never enslave us again. In your One and Only Son who brought us true freedom – Amen!
Be encouraged by these testimonies too!