Have you noticed how in stories and movies, sisters have a problem with perfectionism? One is often extremely beautiful, smart, and obedient, while the other sees herself as plain and is always getting into trouble.
In Little House in the Big Woods, Laura is jealous of her golden-haired, quiet sister, Mary. In Ramona and her Mother, an ornery Ramona is constantly comparing herself to her practical, older sister, Beezus, who always gets A’s in school. Frozen tells the story of Elsa, who is always trying to keep it together, and Anna, who dreams of falling in love and going on adventures. Even in the new Disney movie, Encanto, the main characters struggle with not being enough, or exerting themselves to be “perfect.”
Every time, the responsible sister ends up frustrated that she never gets to have fun, and the carefree sister is angry that she never seems to measure up. And just like all of those girls, we also become ensnared. We get stuck comparing ourselves to others, or even imagining what we should be like. We set expectations that are way too high. And we are inevitably disappointed when we can’t achieve what we want and stressed when we never find time to have fun.
The lyrics to this song by Hillsong offer a different approach, telling us what God has already done for us.
“Ready or Not” by Hillsong
He’s already bought our freedom
He’s already paid our debt
He’s already done the miracle
He’s already conquered death
He’s our light and salvation
He’s our rock solid hope
He’s already done enough for us
He’s already doing more
He’s already seen the ending
He’s already seen us through
He’s already breaking out of us
He’s already on the move
He’s already won our battles
He’s already paved the way
He’s already gone ahead of us
And he is ready when we are
God has already come to us. This is what we celebrated at Christmas—Jesus, Immanuel, coming as a human to be with us. God is here, reaching out, and all we need to do is trust. God doesn’t expect us to be perfect; he only asks us to take his hand and follow where he takes us. God sees our mistakes, and he loves us anyway.
6 When we were utterly helpless, Christ came at just the right time and died for us sinners. 7 Now, most people would not be willing to die for an upright person, though someone might perhaps be willing to die for a person who is especially good. 8 But God showed his great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners (emphasis added).
Which line in Hillsong’s “Ready or Not” speaks to you the most? Can you identify your over-the-top expectations or the ways you compare yourself to others? How can you remember what God has already done for you?
Listen to “Ready or Not” by Hillsong. Consider playing it on the way to work or when you’re dropping your kids off at school. If you haven’t chosen to yet, take the hand God is offering you. He has already done so much with you in mind—he only asks that you trust him. And if you have let go, reach out again. God is already here.
Heavenly Father, as I come to know and trust you more, help me reflect your love through my thoughts and actions. Search my heart. Find any- thing in me that is offensive to you, and help me remove it from my life. Lead me to live a life that draws people to you. Help me live my life on Earth in a way that impacts eter- nity. In Jesus’ name, amen.
Saturday: Day 6 Focus – To Listen to Him (John 10:4)
Dear Father, I am so grateful to have you near me, guiding me with your voice. Give me the faith and patience to listen, so that I will not stray from the path you have planned for me—the path that I trust will keep me safe and bring me closer to you. Amen.
Sunday: Day 7 Focus – To Worship God’s Great Name (Proverbs 18:10)
God, I am in awe of you. Your name is a strong tower, a place of protection and safety for me. I praise you as my healer, my shepherd, and my hope. You are my peace, my provider, my righteousness, and my joy. Your name is great, and I worship you. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
This post was written by Lydia Snyder. Lydia has been a story-lover for as long as she can remember, often found reading books or writing. She is thrilled to be making a difference by inspiring others to take part in the best story ever – God’s story. Lydia lives with her three wonderful siblings and two amazing parents.
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