"I know I'm not supposed to think this way," I mused to Josiah recently, "but reading what she wrote makes me never want to write again. It's so good!"
He gave me a sobering look: "I'd imagine that's how a lot of people would feel about your writing."
The words were just a little sharp, and they cut me - not in a harmful way, but like a skilled surgeon cutting out a malignant growth - painful, yet necessary.
Today, he and I had a conversation about singing. Often, when I'm listing my strengths, skills, or gifts, I list speaking, teaching, and writing. Almost every time, Josiah pops in from the side to add singing to the list.
"Why do you do that?" I asked today. "I sing okay, but I'm just not that great."
His answer, again, surprised me and changed my perspective. He didn't tell me I was the next American Idol or contender on The Voice. He didn't applaud my skill.
Instead, he said, "When you sing, it connects with people. You connect with people. So, it's not just a talent, it's a gift. I think God wants you to use it. It may not look like what you think or hope it will, but I think God will use it."
Oh my prideful heart.
Later, I was talking with a friend about our writing. We talked about the editing process and how we go about it.
We also both admitted to secretly being relieved or happy when we find the typos of incredibly gifted writers, not because we applaud a perceived failure, but because it makes us see those people as a little more human. It gives us hope that maybe, just maybe, it's okay not to be perfect.
And then it made sense.
This picture of perfection we're all striving for - whether it be the cleanest house, the most brilliant blog post, or the voice of an angel - is completely pointless.
I've got news for you: there's always someone better, and if there isn't, give it a minute - there will be.
However, there's also someone looking up to you, a person just behind you or who's just starting out. And maybe, just maybe, if you're willing to lay it all on the line and show your human frailties and imperfections, then you're inspiring that next better person.
And by doing that, you might just change the world, one inspiring typo or flat note at a time.
After all, God didn't say His power was perfected in our strengths, but in our weaknesses.
So now, I'm flaunting my flaws. God doesn't need perfection; He's already got that. God needs my willingness to try my best and be authentically the person He made me. I'll leave the rest to Him.
But He said to me,
"My grace is sufficient for you,
for my power is made perfect in weakness."
Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses,
so that Christ's power may rest on me.
2 Corinthians 12:9