Why Do We Need a Spirituality of Imperfection?

A spirituality of imperfection is a strange topic for some people.  This is because for centuries spirituality has been linked to the desire to be perfect.  This desire can be expressed this way:  If you want to be perfect follow a certain spirituality.  It may be the spirituality of the desert fathers, of the Benedictines, of the Society of Jesus, or recently of the Opus Dei, of the Charismatics.  Following any or a combination of these spiritualities may lead you to the perfection that you desire. In other words the aim of spirituality for many centuries was to be perfect.

To say therefore that there is a spirituality aimed to become imperfect seems to be a contradiction.  But as I shall hopefully show you, this kind of spirituality is something that we need in our time.  So, why do we need a spirituality of imperfection?

The Meaning of Spirituality of Imperfection

First, let us get clear about the meaning of spirituality of imperfection. Spirituality of imperfection refers to an attitude whereby a person accepts her imperfections or weaknesses and uses these to come closer to God. She does not want to get rid of these imperfections or weaknesses in order to become perfect. Some examples will make the meaning of this kind of spirituality clear.
Here is an example involving physical imperfection. The great poet John Milton (William Hayley called him the greatest English author), got blind when he was only 46 years old. Instead of complaining about his condition and retreating into idleness he accepted it gladly and used it to focus his attention on invisible realities, the things unseen to human eyes. It was during this period when he was totally blind that he wrote through dictation his greatest poem PARADISE LOST. He also left us that beautiful poem ON HIS BLINDNESS. The last five lines of this poem are most consoling to us who seem not to be doing anything great for God. Milton says in these lines that the one who bears best the yoke or suffering God gives him serves God the best, that he is a king, thousands obey him, that those who only stand and wait also serve God.
There are many examples from moral imperfection. Jesus displayed a spirituality of imperfection. He accepted the sinful prostitutes and tax collectors among his hearers and followers. And he also led them to accept their situation. Jesus never told them, Reform yourselves first before you follow me. He accepted them as they were. And it is most important to observe that we do not read any passage in the Gospels which tells us that they strove to get rid of their sinfulness. Casting away their sinfulness was not the goal of their life but just following Jesus. And by one sentence Jesus transformed them. He told them, Go and sin no more. And they did without trying to sin no more. They just stopped sinning.
My third example is concerning spiritual imperfection, the inability to perform any spiritual act like believing, loving, hoping. Jesus himself exemplified this attitude when he said that of himself he could do nothing (John 5:19). He accepted his inability to do anything on his own. Paradoxically this attitude gave him all the power in the world. This was because this attitude pushed him to rely only on God with whom nothing is impossible.
Why Do We Need a Spirituality of Imperfection?
We need this kind of spirituality because all of us have imperfections: physical, intellectual, spiritual, or a combination of these. And it is only in our acceptance of these imperfections that we can transcend them and be ready to receive the perfection which comes as a total gift from God.
One of the songs which have moved many of us to tears of joy was the song THANK YOU by Ray Boltz. Maybe you too were moved to tears by this song. Some years after listening to this song I found out that the composer and singer of this song had a problem in his sexual orientation. If I did not have this spirituality of imperfection I would have condemned him and never again listened to his songs. But I did not do this. I accepted him as he was and prayed for him to continue touching lives and to totally trust God to receive the gift of a perfectly balanced sexuality.
What Is Your Imperfection?
Are you blind, deaf and dumb? Are you a victim of a debilitating, presently incurable and terminal disease like cancer or HIV/AIDS? Are you the victim of alcohol, illegal drugs, or tendencies to criminal actions? If you accept now your condition, then you can rejoice because you can open yourself to God's gift of healing and perfection in the area of your imperfection.
I am not writing only from theory. When I was 13 years old I contracted eczema in my hands, feet and groins. Because of this skin disease I could not eat many kinds of food like chicken, pork, shrimps, crabs, and other delicacies because if I did the itchiness would attack me and the infected bodily parts would swell. It was a skin disease which cost me a lot of money and time in prayer, consultations with physicians and medications to no avail. I carried this malady for 20 years without a definitive cure. So I accepted my situation that I could not be cured of my eczema by conventional medicine. Instead I went to a shaman and told her my problem. She pulled out a bush and by this bush drove out the eczema from my body. I was instantly cured and never to be bothered again by this skin disease. Now I can eat anything without being allergic to any food.
I can give many other examples from my life but that one should suffice to convince you to get hold of this spirituality of imperfection and use it for your advantage.
You can apply this spirituality of imperfection to any area of your life. Are you a failure in business? Accept your failure and be open to the gift of success in business. Are you a failure in your marriage? Accept it and be open to the gift of a perfect love in marriage or in blessed singleness.
Many have written about this kind of spirituality, notably Ernest Kurtz and Katherine Ketcham in their book THE SPIRITUALITY OF IMPERFECTION: Storytelling and the Journey to Wholeness (1992). It is for you to write your own story about how your weaknesses have given you the strength to live a more fruitful life.
Here are my other blogs which may be of help to you:
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for learning about the new trends around us

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Here are your links to download the e-books for FREE. To download a copy of A NEW CHRIST by Wallace D. Wattles click this website To download a free copy of A NEW EARTH by Eckhart Tolle click this website I hope that you enjoy reading these free e-books and profit much from them, as I have also profited greatly from them.

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