Nobody’s Perfect

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.

Isaiah 40:29

We found a treasure chest in our garage.

It was a small wooden box that looked like a miniature version of what pirates search for at the bottom of the sea. Inside this chest, we rediscovered lots and lots of coins that we and my late father-in-law had collected through the years. Many of them were old—some as far back as the turn of the 20th century. Some were foreign coins and some were just ordinary.

We started looking up old coin values and realized that some of these were worth more than their face values. Some much more. In searching the internet for information about coin values, we found that a lot of coins (not the ones we have, however) are worth hundreds of thousands—and sometimes millions. The most valuable ones were not the oldest coins, however, but the ones that had errors on them. Mistakes in the minting process.

One recent minting of a state coin says “In God We Rust.” No fooling. Because of the mistake in stamping, it is worth a lot of money now. Another error is called the “Spitting Eagle.” It’s a quarter that has a small raised line near the eagle’s mouth that makes it look like it’s spitting. And in the 1930s there were some 3-legged buffalo nickels mistakenly put into circulation that now are worth a bundle. All of these are coins that are valuable only because of their rarity. Apparently there is a whole industry dedicated to collecting error coins. I think it amazing (and symbolic) that these coins are worth more because of their flaws.

Sometimes I think that God made a mistake when He designed me, because I’m not perfect. At least by the world’s standards anyway. I’m too short. Too round. Not smart enough. Not pretty enough. Old. Cranky. Annoying. Worthless.

Yet the Bible tells stories of people who had imperfections, and we still read about them and revere them in spite of their flaws. For instance:

Moses had a temper

Gideon was a coward

Noah drank too much

Jacob was a cheat

David was an adulterer and a murderer

Jonah rebelled

Solomon was a womanizer

Elijah pouted

Simon Peter was disloyal.

The Apostle Paul had some malady that we know little about. Some say that he had cataracts that damaged his eyesight, and that these were caused by the blinding experience on the road to Damascus.

In 2 Corinthians 12: 7, Paul writes about his flaw.  “I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 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 about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”

You may wonder what God was thinking when He made you. You might believe that you’re a mistake because you and your circumstances aren’t perfect. Just remember that your value is not measured in perfection, but in your willingness to recognize and surrender your flaws to the Creator. Just like with minting mistakes, your weaknesses can make it possible for God to use you more effectively.

I can do all things through him who gives me strength. Phil. 4:13

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