The comment was sweet and welcomed as it reached my tired ears. Yes, even my ears were tired. “I’d love to help you,” she offered again. “Just let me know how I can help you. I’m available.”
In that brief moment, I felt weak, helpless. “Okay, thanks,” I managed. “I think I’m just fine.” I quickly smiled and headed for the door before she had a chance to offer again. Ugh. I was not “just fine.”
I was drowning in all forms of work which resulted in snapping at my kids, husband, mother, and people who weren’t even there (yes, tired mothers can snap at ghosts). Someone had offered help, so why couldn’t I accept it?
Living With False Perfection
There is a saying I have heard for years. Honestly, I’ve said it to myself numerous and even believed it. Maybe you’ve heard it and said it as well. “Fake it ‘til you make it.” When I first heard it, I wasn’t quite sure how to process the meaning. Perhaps it means a few different things:
- “I’m not feeling it today, but I have to do_______ so I’m going to force a smile and pretend I’m feeling it anyway.”
- “I don’t want to _________today, but there’s a lot of people relying on me so I’ll force a smile until I feel like doing it. Habit-forming, right?”
- “I’m struggling with life today, but this ________is required of me so I’ll force a smile because I really can’t talk about my problems. If I smile, they won’t know.”
I know there are several thoughts in a person’s mind when they think or utter this phrase. These are just 3 of the thoughts that have gone through my mind when I used it.
The problem is that as much as I fake it, I never actually make it. When the day is done, so are my tasks. My body made it through, but my soul suffered greatly.
We’re Not Fine
Do you ever fight the overwhelming need to suppress your feelings and force a smile on your face? So you lived one day (or 2…) that way, where’s the danger in that? The danger is that the longer you live that way, the longer you believe it. Over time, it’s easier to live life with false perfection.
When we surrender to the belief that we’re “just fine,” we deny our need for Christ.
I don’t know about you, but I find that exhausting. Life is hardly perfect and rather messy. In the messiness of our lives, God reaches down and beautifully refines us. You are not fine. I am not fine. In the messiest situations, we experience the strength of Almighty God.
Admitting Our Weakness Is Not Weakness
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 (ESV)
Dear “Just Fine” Friend, God’s grace is sufficient for you and His strength is made perfect in your weakness. When we are weak, He is made strong. Admitting our weakness is not admitting you are weak – you’re admitting your need for Christ and the strength only He can give.
There is nothing more real than the truth. Living a life of false perfection denies the power and presence of Christ in our lives. Don’t fake it until you make it. Ask Christ for His power and strength so He can help you make it – and joyfully make it as His spirit rests upon you.