Life is busy. Whether you’re going through college like me, raising a family, or working full time, life can often seem to resemble a never-ending to do list. Just taking care of one’s basic needs like sleeping, eating, grooming, and exercising takes up more than half of a day! Then on top of that we have jobs to do, errands to run, people to talk to, chores to get done, and problems to solve. To me, it often seems like a miracle that I can even manage all of these necessary day-to-day tasks, let alone have time left over for doing the things that I want to do.
Something that has been bothering me lately is that in every area of my life, from my physical health to my spirituality to my social life, I am constantly being berated by messages telling me that I need to be better. I need to exercise more, eat healthier food, spend more time reading my Bible and praying, talk to people more, etc. As if it’s not impossible enough just getting by in life! According to the rest of the world, I’m not doing a good enough job. And for me, doing a “good job” at life is something that brings me great satisfaction. As a result, every time that I don’t quite measure up, I start to feel overwhelmed and frustrated. Can you relate to this feeling?
Well I think that it’s time to change our views. First of all, the old saying really is true that “nobody is perfect.” Let me say that again; Nobody is perfect. When we feel the pressure to do better in certain areas of our lives, what are we really hoping to achieve? Are we honestly just trying to improve ourselves, or are we foolishly reaching for perfection? I have a feeling that, at least for me, the truth is closer to the latter.
But is it really wrong to long for perfection? Surprisingly, I don’t think so. Remember how I just said that nobody is perfect? Well, it’s true that no human is perfect, but God is. And we humans are made in His image. So while we can never actually be perfect, I believe that we all have the natural desire to be because God made us that way. We desire to be more like Him, to be perfect. There’s nothing wrong with that! What’s wrong is when we actually expect to get there while we’re still here on Earth, a planet full of imperfection.
So what does this all mean and how can you apply it to your life, not to mention your marriage? (After all, this is a marriage blog). Good question!
Unfortunately, I’m not really sure what the answer is. I don’t have the magical cure to all of my own problems in life, let alone yours. But that’s the way life is! We don’t have all the answers. All we have to go on is the one thing that we know to be true and perfect, which is God, and the book of truth that He lovingly gave us. I’m talking about the B.I.B.L.E., otherwise known as the Basic Instructions Before Leaving Earth. (Thanks to my friend April for sharing this clever acronym!)
The Bible tells us that love is the most important thing in life. Romans 13:9-10 says that “…(God’s commandments) are all summed up in this one commandment: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no wrong to others, so love fulfills the requirements of God’s law.” The well-known verse in 1 Corinthians 13:13 says, “Three things will last forever- faith, hope, and love- and the greatest of these is love.” In 1 John 4:7, the Bible says, “Dear friends, let us continue to love one another, for love comes from God. Anyone who loves is a child of God and knows God.” Could it be any clearer that God wants us to love people?
So there you have it. Love. It’s clearly important to God, and can anybody honestly say that it isn’t important to them, too? That’s why I think love should be the top priority in life. Love is more important than making money, gaining knowledge, making achievements, being physically healthy, and many of the other things we put so high on our to do lists. Love should come first! What I mean by this, of course, is not a superficial or weak kind of love. It’s love as it is described in the Bible (read 1 Corinthians 13 if you need a reminder), love as it was displayed by God when He sacrificed His son for you and me. That kind of love is the kind that God wants to see from us.
I know that life is busy, and that it can be difficult to make time to do everything that needs to be done. But one way to make it a little less overwhelming is to put it into perspective. What is going to matter in the long run? Probably not this one homework assignment, or that work problem, or the fact that your kids won’t clean their rooms. No, what’s going to matter in the long run is how much you love others. You should still try to do your best at everything you do for the sake of bringing glory to God, but busyness shouldn’t consume your life. If you need to prioritize, cut back on some things, or make some major life changes, than do it! Do whatever is necessary so that you can focus on what is most important; loving God, your spouse (if you’re married), your family, your friends, and everybody else you come into contact with on a daily basis. Don’t be so busy that you don’t have time for love! It truly is the greatest gift in life.