“When they sin against you—for there is no one who does not sin—and you become angry with them and give them over to their enemies, who take them captive to their own lands, far away or near… then from heaven, your dwelling place, hear their prayer and their plea, and uphold their cause.” (1 Kings 8:46, 49)
There is a misnomer in our culture that Christians need to be perfect. It’s not hard to understand how the idea got into circulation, but it certainly didn’t come from God. Grace has been God’s M.O. since the beginning, and Solomon highlighted it here in his prayer at the dedication of the Temple.
If God expected perfection, then the sacrificial system wouldn’t really have needed to exist. The whole purpose of the system was to provide a way for sinful people to be made right with a holy God even though they were sinners. God recognized their fallenness, and provided a way out of it. If He expected perfection, then He would have responded by saying, “That’s too bad you’re not good enough. Sucks to be you.”
Thankfully, God’s response was nothing like that! Even after Adam and Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden, God showed incredible grace to this first couple that brought His perfect paradise crashing down. God doesn’t expect perfection, which is why He sent Christ.
Solomon begged of God, in his prayer, that God would listen to the pleas of people when they come to their senses and turn to Him. Time and time again, we learn that God does listen to people when they do that. Have you turned to Him? Have you wandered away and are in need of a new direction? Turn back. God won’t reject you. He doesn’t expect you to be perfect; He just wants you to return to Him.
Father, there will inevitably be moments in my life when I make decisions that turn me away from You. In those moments, convict my heart, and draw me back. Help me, in humility, to approach You and recognize Your great grace. Thank You for not demanding perfection but for making a way for me to be made right with You.