Lessons abound in everyday life. Even in seemingly irrelevant doings, we can learn something. Take the art of arranging a messy bun, which I learned from my daughter.
As I stood in front of the mirror yesterday, I decided to opt for the ease of a messy bun. Quickly fastening my hair in a rubber band, I proceeded to pull it about 2/3 through on the second twist. I then fiddled with the knob of hair at the top, securing it with bobby pins into a loose bun.
But I continued to fasten section after section with pin after pin. And before I knew it, my “messy bun” was not so messy. Yes, it had stray hairs sticking out to and fro, but I labored far too long on fixing it. Messy buns are supposed to equal a carefree updo—not a meticulously forced arrangement.
A thought flitted through my mind during this process … a realization that this experience exemplified the perfectionism that comes naturally to me. Now, two lessons challenge me:
LESSON #1: Let’s not try to make ourselves into something we’re not.
Oh, my friend, we can spend years of our lives striving to imitate other people. Or, we can waste precious time forcing ourselves into the world’s protocol for a woman. Even gender itself has become complicated these days. Yet our Creator, our loving Father in heaven, pronounces the final word on who we are.
In one of his prayers to God, the Psalmist said, “For Thou didst form my inward parts; Thou didst weave me in my mother’s womb. I will give thanks to Thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Thy works, And my soul knows it very well” (Psalm 139:13-14, NASB).
Each of us is “fearfully and wonderfully made.” YOU are “fearfully and wonderfully made.” God, the Creator of the universe, made you—with all of the love and care He possesses. He blessed this world with you. You are the product of His perfect hands, filled with unique talents and personality and features. You are a woman, beautiful in God’s eyes.
Since God crafted us inside and out, let’s live in the freedom of His design.
LESSON #2: Let’s not stress about our imperfections.
Remember my messy bun? It shouldn’t have taken so long for me to complete. But I began to see sections of hair sticking out, and the perfectionist in me couldn’t leave them alone.
We can approach ourselves in the same way. Analyzing our body weight and/or shape, scrutinizing our failures, judging ourselves harshly, and so on—these perspectives lead to stress. Always seeking approval and aiming to please everyone, we forget we serve God alone. His approval is ultimately all that matters. Pleasing Him should be our daily goal.
“For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ” (Galatians 1:10).
The Bible explains what pleases God, and specifically, it teaches us how to live as godly women. God’s Word reveals all we need to know for success in this life and beyond. The Lord sees things differently than the world, and so should we. God is holy and righteous while gracious and compassionate at the same time.
But sometimes we don’t like ourselves. We don’t meet our own expectations, let alone others’. When we fixate on our repeated mess-ups, we forget about God’s grace. Stubbornly trying to fix ourselves in our own strength, we can fritter our lives away.
Our sins should concern us, but let’s remember we’re not in charge of our own deliverance. Only Christ can accomplish that feat. HE is perfect. HE is pure. And He died so we can be forgiven. By faith in Him, we’re set free. Though the process of becoming holy like the Lord remains constant in this life, God’s grace is sufficient” (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Since God has provided salvation through His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ, let’s look to HIM for our perfection. And let’s be grateful for the way He made us.
Who would have thought such lessons could be extracted from a messy bun? But God has a way of capturing our attention with the ordinary, and as we yield to Him, He transforms us piece by piece.