I am joining Kate and the Five Minute Friday crew again this week. Join us! It’s a great community of writers who love to encourage each other! This week’s prompt is “refine.”
It just never stops, does it? This process of improving. This week, I’ve tweaked our homeschool schedule, rearranged my Pinterest boards, and updated numerous old blog posts. All to make them better, to make them a little bit more focused, to inch them ever closer to the goal:
Yes, I hear you laughing.
I know that I won’t attain it any time soon. There will always be a typo I missed or a sick day that wreaks havoc on our homeschool. And don’t get me started on the system of toy storage we have in our home (or the lack thereof).
It seems pretty hopeless, but a girl can try, right?
It’s frustrating to see just how much farther we have to go sometimes. Looking at the distance ahead keeps me from recognizing how far I’ve already come. And not just in regards to my organizational skills.
Because our desire to improve things might just be another way we’re a lot like the God who made us.
He’s always working to make dirty things clean, broken things mended, and sinful people holy. And like the little song says, “He’s still working on me,” too.
He’s convicting me of my own lack of patience as I correct my children for demanding things and reminding me that toddlers aren’t the only ones who throw temper tantrums.
He’s whittling away at my wastefulness, calling me to be ever more intentional – with my time and with my talents.
The process can be painful, but the refining is revealing.
It removes the things that hide who I really am in Christ.
It frees me to be who he says I already am.
So that I can serve him. After all, “We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10
I hope you hear the comfort in that verse, the soft soothing of your perfectionist soul. You are God’s workmanship, created to do things He has planned.
You see, he longs to see us refined, to see his people perfected, but he never expects us to do the work of refining. He is the one “who works in you both to will and to act according to his good purpose.” (Philippians 2:13)
We have only to rest in his refining hands, to let his Spirit shape us and make us shine.
And, he will because “He who began a good work in you will be faithful to complete it.” (Philippians 1:6)
The work begins and ends with Him. Your quest for perfection begins and ends in Christ.
(P.S. I’ve written on this topic before. Check it out at The One Worth Pleasing Makes You Perfect, which was part of my series 31 Things I Want My Kids to Know.)
Amy Carpenter says
The refining process is so painful but I love the fact that Christ is the one with the tools to purify us. If we try to do it ourselves, we end up picking away at inconsequential things- I think of the log and the speck example, or the questions we ask- is it 7 times we must forgive? What’s the bare minimum I must do to be good?
And yet, God takes us in our imperfection and loves us and in this love, strips us of sin we didn’t even know existed. Such grace.
Love your writing.
Thank you, Amy! I definitely spend too much time picking at inconsequential things. All the while, he lavishes grace on us. He is so good.
Andrew Budek-Schmeisser says
Love this, Charlie! I used to be a perfectionist…when I worked upon aeroplanes, I would go the extra three miles, polishing parts that would never be seen because I saw them, darn it!
And one day an older mechanic told me that all the extra elbow grease I was putting in would not make the aeroplane fly any better, but it would sure cost more.
#1 at FMF this week.
I love that, Andrew! I will have to remember what that mechanic told you. It sounds like something my husband would say to me! Thank you so much for visiting today!
An old song and my desire, More of Jesus and less of me . . .
Heather Hart says
Amen and amen. So many times amen. Thank you so much for sharing this today. It was like a balm to my soul.
I think my perfectionist soul really needed to read this today. And I love how you took this one word and pointed us straight to Jesus. I’m pinning this to keep as a reminder and share with others who need this message. Can’t just be you and me, right? 🙂
Blessings! Marva | SunSparkleShine
Dawn Boyer says
I love that verse in Philippians. I am reminded of it often when I am expecting too much from myself and my children. And friend, that Homeschooling Journey is a constant opportunity to do just that, isn’ t. It is worth it though, it is a good thing that you are doing. Us momma’s tend to let our reservoirs deplete in all the hats we wear and we reflect an unwritten rule we can’t be human upon ourselves that God doesn’t dictate, isn’t it awesome when His Word and His grace reach us and remind us of that.
Barbie Swihart says
I am such a perfectionist. I doubt my ability to homeschool our son since I work full time outside the home. God constantly is refining me by having me understand that although our day doesn’t look like someone else’s day, I am being effective. So glad you stopped by. Following you along on Bloglovin and Facebook.
Jeanne Takenaka says
Charlie, I love your take on this week’s word! Refining and perfection . . . yep, I’ve dealt (and still deal with) the perfection monster. I never thought about how our desire to improve things can be a way in which we are like our Father.
I loved, loved this:
“The process can be painful, but the refining is revealing.
It removes the things that hide who I really am in Christ.”
Such beautiful truths here!
Such a great reminder that the work God desires starts and ends with Him. When you speak about the process and the refining, I think about what refining really means and how we do it. It’s time consuming, costly and cumbersome. Refining ourselves in Christ is not easy, but I don’t think He’s expecting us to get it right the first time, the second time, or the twentieth time. I think about perfection a lot and how God has called us to love others as Jesus loved us – He loved us enough to sacrifice himself for our sins, even for Judah, the disciple that Christ said would betray him!!… I could go on and on… 🙂 Anyway, thank you for opening such a productive outlet for me tonight to sit and consider
Great job. Thanks so much for linking up at #familyfriday we appreciate it! We hope you come back next week.