Confession #2: Sometimes, I believe this convincing lie that I can actually attain perfection as a person and an artist, and I have this ludicrous idea that my art will follow suit.
It's true. I, like most of the modern world, believe the lie that I can achieve perfection in all things. But it's a boldfaced lie.
I am a messy, broken, and imperfect person.
My art is just as messy, broken, and imperfect as I am.
And it's a beautiful thing.
I can't tell you how long it has taken me to be okay with being imperfect, and I still struggle. For years, I felt enslaved by the standards of perfection that I placed on myself and the standards others placed upon me.
Freedom from the enslavement of perfection was one of the first things that God used to draw me to himself three years ago. I was tired of trying to be perfect, and I heard the truth for the first time: I live in a fallen and broken world, and I will never be able to reach perfection.
In God's terms, perfection is holiness, which is being without sin or stain. That is not me. I'm not perfect or even holy. I fall short of the glory of God. I lie. I judge others. I'm prideful. I get easily irritated with others, and I lose my patience. This is just the tip of the iceberg.
But I believe a beautiful truth, the good news of Jesus Christ. On my own, I will never be able to stand holy and blameless before a righteous God. But Jesus, the perfect and holy Son of God, went willing to the cross, taking my sin and the sins of the world upon himself, so that those that believe in Jesus and his work on the cross can stand before God one day and become a part of His kingdom. (I'm not even perfect at explaining the Gospel, and I write run on sentences.)
But ultimately because Jesus is perfect, I don't have to be. I'm free to be imperfect. I mean, I still want to grow in holiness, but I can't do that on my own. If I grow as a person, it's by God's work, not my own. If I'm patient with people, it's because of Christ's work in me.
For our sake, He made him who knew no sin,
so that in him we might have the righteousness of God.
2 Corinthians 5:21
I am a beautiful imperfect mess, and it's so freeing. It took me a long time to realize this same thing about my art. We live in a fallen and broken world. Our art and our work will never be perfect in this life. Imperfect artist. Imperfect art.
There is so much freedom in allowing one's art to be what it is: imperfect.
If you're a Christian, your faith will be refined. If you cling to the Gospel, you will grow in holiness, but you will never reach a stage of perfection in this life. The same thing goes for art. We can continually refine our art, and try to make it better, but it will never reach a stage of perfection.
No matter how many tweaks I make to a video, how many times I edit a piece of writing, or how much I re-edit a photo on Instagram, my work will always be beautifully imperfect.
At this point, I feel like I could sing Hannah Montana's Nobody's Perfect.
But it rings true. No one is perfect. No work of art is perfect.
Only Jesus is perfect, and that's all the perfection I need.
This post is part of a 31 Day Series called Confessions of a Creative Christian.
Hey There! I'm Madi,
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