I have a bone to pick with all of my conservative friends that like to say to me, “nobody is perfect.” Not really all of them, just the ones that use that phrase and don’t really believe it. Why bother saying it if then you are going to tell me that I shouldn’t….cuss, drink, smoke, listen to certain types of music, wear certain types of clothes, associate with certain types of people, raise my kids in a certain way, skip school, spend credit, eat cake, wear makeup, drive fast, or gain weight? The same bone is alive and kicking with my more liberal friends, who say I should: show my ass, sleep around, get welfare, skip McDonald’s, vote for Bernie…. If nobody is perfect, why are you trying to set a standard for me?
Tricked ya, I don’t really have friends that tell me what I should and shouldn’t do. I “blocked” them in real life. Amazingly, anyone who knows me, knows I like good advice, whether I take it or not. I try to have a teachable attitude. I advocate for truth-telling and encouragement. What is it with those words, “should” and “shouldn’t, that make people love them so much?
Number one, if I tried to imagine a perfect girl, who always dressed to the nines, had a clean house, perfectly well-adjusted kids, a sleek figure, expendable income, a stress-free relationship, a 100% fulfilling job, and a sweet car, I’d probably hate the bitch. Because I really DO believe that life isn’t perfect, and that there is no such creature as a perfect person. You see, to have perfection; someone, somewhere has to set up a definition of what that would look like. Throat clear, did you get that? Where is the freedom for any of us if we live to meet a standard that someone else set up? Some OTHER imperfect creature in a messy world humping around baggage and dysfunctions and loss and confusion. Truly, plenty of people are also toting buckets full of beautiful healing, which I love to hear about, but thinking that “should” look the same on everyone? What a crock.
For the conservative Christians, in the first place, the Bible says that God looks at the heart, not the outward appearance. Secondly, the book says that we are all fearfully and wonderfully made, which science proves out by DNA. Unique we are. Thirdly, if part of your job in the world is to “bind up the brokenhearted, and to proclaim liberty to the captives,” why the hell are you trying to imprison me in your personal standard of righteousness? I love you because you try so hard, can’t you see I am trying as well? Anyone who wants to give me a theological treatise for what “living by the spirit” looks like, I will still contend that you can’t always decipher a spiritual reality in a material world. Try if you like, I’m open to debate.
And you liberals, why can’t you let me be when my choices look different than yours? I love you because you believe in freedom because I do too. Perfectionism of any stripe is plain old legalism and helps no one. Sincerely, I really have no bone to pick with my people, they are all a hot mess, just like I like them to be. We get along.