Whether it comes from society and mainstream media or from our families, friends or even those within our churches, there is incredible pressure on each of us to be perfect from all angles. From our physical appearance and our academic intelligence to our creative outlets and our career paths, there is always something to criticise.
Even though God tells us that He loves us just as we are and demonstrates it in so many ways, we can still become convinced that we're not good enough in some way or another and therefore are unloveable and unimportant.
Here are four reasons why it's OK that you're not perfect.
You are a work in progress
You shouldn't be disheartened by the existence of personal flaws. Your imperfections are being worked on by the Lord all the time (Philippians 1:6). The most perfect version of you will come into existence when you're in heaven: "Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed," (1 Corinthians 15:51). But this doesn't mean that you shouldn't devote yourself to becoming more like our perfect Saviour every day.
You can't earn God's love
An obsession with being perfect is commonly accompanied by a desire to impress and earn the admiration of other people. This is an extremely disruptive and unsatisfying way to live for various reasons. In contrast, God loves you because He is loving and because He made you wonderfully, not because of what you've done.
You don't need to think, "If only I was this or that God would love me" because He already does and always has. Romans 5:8 is just one illustration of this, "But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us."
Your imperfections help you to love others
Have you ever found yourself getting frustrated when trying to explain something that you never had any trouble understanding, to someone who just doesn't get it? Imagine if everything you did was always right and you had no flaws at all. It would make it very hard to empathise with and love others who did.
Your imperfections can be used to help you to relate to others, and how you manage and in some cases overcome them can be the very thing that inspires others to see the love that God has for them. Essentially, it's OK that you're not perfect because no one is - "For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God," Romans 3:23.
Your flaws encourage you to seek God and marvel at His greatness
Knowing how impossible it is to be perfect makes us even more aware of God's remarkable capabilities. He is flawless and is able to do things that you'd never accomplish regardless of how hard and how long you tried to.
Where you fall short, God fills in. Realising that you're enabled to do magnificent works through Him encourages you to draw closer to Him and seek to improve yourself with His help instead of struggling and failing to do it on your own.