Friday, November 18, 2011

I Am (Not) A Superhero*

Trying to be perfect and trying to appear perfect are serious struggles for me. I don't like many of the things I do, so I brush them under a carpet and pretend they aren't there. I worry what people will think of me if they know about my shortfalls. I know I am not alone in this, but I still hate to admit flaws in my nature. Usually admittance of a flaw is followed by an explanation, or let's face it, an excuse or justification. If I'm wrong as a one-off, I find it easier to admit and deal with than if I am facing an ongoing struggle.

I kind of feel this desire right now to admit a few things about me that I'm not proud of. I know that my issues aren't 'The Biggies' (I'm not addicted to heroin or a cheating wife), but they are things that make me feel less good about myself. They are things that I try over and over again to correct but still end up doing or being. All right, here are some examples, with no excuses attached...

*I gossip about people a lot. Sometimes quite maliciously.
*I sometimes spank my children.
*I shout at my children far, far too often.
*I sometimes get pleasure in seeing other people fail.
*I am conceited and judgmental.
*I enjoy getting drunk now and again.
*I don't always believe in God.
*I don't clean my toilet every day.

Okay, I had to throw that last one in because I was starting to feel a bit too vulnerable there! Although frankly, I am embarrassed to admit I don't clean my toilet every day, because I really should.

But there, now that I've admitted a few things about myself, I can now stand in front of you and say, 'I am not perfect. I will never be perfect. I would like to be perfect one day but must just hope that the Bible is true, and I will one day be made perfect like Christ, because I can never be perfect here on earth.'

But I will keep trying. And my hope is that by admitting a few things, I might be taking another step in the right direction.

*Title stolen from my friend Corinne's amazing book Ralph Is (Not) A Superhero. Go buy it now!


  1. (Oooh, I was so tempted just now to post this as "Anonymous"...)

    I am right there with you in those things. I am so afraid of others seeing my weakness, failings, ugliness and then rejecting me, but like you said, you are not alone in those things. We all struggle, and if we were all more open about them and less afraid of rejection, we'd realize that we aren't alone and we aren't as bad as we think we are. To prove my point, here you go:

    -I haven't cleaned my toilet in months (and I'm really embarrassed about this...)
    -I don't like to deprive myself, of food, drink, things, or whatever feels good (I've never successfully fasted. Ever.)
    -My husband usually has to apologize first
    -Most times I believe that God hasn't given me many trials in my life because he knows I won't be faithful to him through them

    Yikes. Don't reject me now.

  2. I used to clean my toilets once a week, whether they needed it or not. Since my life has been in transition, I've lost track of when I clean the toilets.

    I used to spank my children now and then, and I felt awful about it most of the time. But frankly, I think they've turned out better than a lot of the kids their age who were never spanked.

    Yes. Yelling makes us sad. It doesn't work, and we know it doesn't work, and still we do it. I have spent many an hour on my teary face on my bed, begging the Lord to fill in with His grace for the awful mistakes I have made. And, you know, now that my kids are 22, 20, 19 and 16, I can look at them and rejoice in His faithfulness.

    I love seeing mean people get their just deserts. Is that the right way to say it? I guess that makes me a bad person. But then I wonder just a little... God certainly made a fool of Haman in the book of Esther, and who doesn't enjoy (and chuckle) at how he had to implement his own recipe for honor and do it for his most hated adversary, Mordecai? I mean, I know we shouldn't gloat, but I think it is maybe OK to take pleasure in seeing justice done. There's definitely a fine line there.

    I am judgmental and critical, and also very, very lazy. I think I got even lazier after I didn't need to do so many things for my children.


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