Christians Aren't Perfect People

Jesus was the only perfect human being to walk this earth. Although we can strive to be like him, we'll never be perfect.
Jesus was the only perfect human being to walk this earth. Although we can strive to be like him, we'll never be perfect. | Source

So there I was on a Saturday morning thoroughly enjoying being in the presence of 600 ladies at a breakfast hosted by a women's ministry called JOY International. While door prizes were being given away, breakfast was served. Everything looked fantastic, the coffee was great as was the quiche, popovers and fruit. After some pleasant conversation, the servers came back to the tables to collect the dishes.

One lady at my table was picking at her quiche and when the server asked if she was still working on it, the lady made an ugly face and said, "it has peppers in it," just like a four-year-old would. The server walked away shaking her head as I sat there cringing. I thought to myself that complaining to the hotel staff who were working so hard to serve all these ladies was not being a very good Christian witness. I wondered if the server walked away thinking all Christians were complainers.

Hypocrites

And therein lies the dilemma. I had an expectation that all of these women, including myself, who were confessed Christians would know to act appropriately. That we would be a witness to Christ, living by the example given to us by Jesus Himself. Christians expect other Christians to be Christ-like, and I think, so does the world. And when we don't live up to our Biblical standards, we are called hypocrites.

But here's a newsflash - while Jesus is perfect, His followers are not. We live in a fallen world. And even though we strive to be like Him, sometimes we fail miserabley. Is that being a hypocrite? I don't think so - it's being human.

Take for instance the following scriptures:

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God Romans 3:23

And also the scripture where the Apostle Paul struggles with sin:

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. Romans 7:15

Christians struggle with sin too.
Christians struggle with sin too. | Source

So Why Aren't Christians Perfect?

The easy answer to this question, like I mentioned above, is that Christians are human. Yes, we have the Holy Spirit residing inside of us that helps us strive to be Christ-like, but we also have our flesh or the worldly part of us to deal with as well.

Many Christians come from broken, dysfunctional homes. Others were deeply hurt at one time in their lives. There are those who suffered great abuse - sexual, emotional even spiritual. Just because Christians serve such an awesome God, does not mean their lives have been so awesome. Christians have issues in their lives to work out just like everyone else.

Christians can be depressed, have anger issues, be addicted, can be on medication and can go through counseling just like the rest of the world. Depending on their issue, they may respond to certain situations in a certain way, sometimes a negative way. When another Christian or non-Christian sees that, they may be put off. But we must remember that no one is perfect.

Put Christ on a Pedestal, Not Other People

After rededicating my life to Christ, I looked to other Christians as to how to act and how to live my life. I had expectations from them like honesty, integrity, doing what they said they were going to do, being kind to others, always doing the right thing.

There were also church leaders I looked up to. Like for instance, Pastor Ted Haggard of New Life Church in Colorado Springs, CO. I met him. I sat in his church and listened to his amazing sermon. I believed he was someone who stood for truth. I believed he was a man of integrity. And then he fell. He fell big time. He was accused of having homosexual relationships and selling drugs. How could this possibly happen? How could such a seemingly strong Christian leader be living a lie? Answer - he's human, he's imperfect and "the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." (1 Peter 5:8)

I have learned to not put Christian leaders or even other Christians up on a pedestal. I have learned to not expect perfection from them. I have learned that other Christians can be hurtful. I have learned I can't trust someone just because they call themselves a Christian. But through all of this I have learned that there is One that I can put on a pedestal, that I can expect perfection from, that will never hurt me, and someone that I can always trust and that is Jesus.

New Life Church in Colorado Springs, CO where Ted Haggard once served as pastor.
New Life Church in Colorado Springs, CO where Ted Haggard once served as pastor. | Source

But What About Repentance?

Above, I listed reasons why Christians may not be perfect. They may have grown up in a dysfunctional home and haven't received complete healing for abuse they may have suffered. They may struggle with damaged emotions. Also, Christians have to contend with their enemy, Satan.

But how does repentance fit into all of this? I have learned that repentance is to turn away from sin and to show remorse for past conduct. The Bible says:

Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord. Acts 3:19

I believe that Christians need to have an attitude of repentance - that they are always willing to try to turn away from sinful behavior. Sometimes for some people I think people can repent instantly from a certain sin and never fall into again. For others, it is a struggle to repent from a certain sinful behavior but I believe the Lord knows their hearts and is pleased by their willingness and desire to change. Because God requires repentance it stops us from saying things like, "Oops I sinned again, oh well nobody is perfect."

Source

Christians Need to Stop Putting on an Act

In saying all of this, I do still believe that we as Christians need to be lights shining in a dark world, that our behavior should reflect whom we serve and that we should strive to be Christ-like. But in doing so, I don't think we need to act like we are perfect, that we need to put on a fake smile and tell everyone our lives are great all the time.

Jesus is all about truth and in being truthful, we need stop putting on an act. We need to stop judging one another when someone messes up. We need to learn to share our shortcomings with one another. We need to be there for one another with open arms instead of gossiping behind someone's back. If we as Christians acted this way instead of pretending our lives are perfect then maybe the world would realize that too. Maybe then they would stop ridiculing us and calling us hypocrites, or at least maybe they would take us a little more seriously. Maybe.

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Comments 62 comments

Vladimir Uhri profile image

Vladimir Uhri 6 years ago from HubPages, FB

Enjoyed reading your hub, sister. Sometimes we have a sin problem since we do not know how to deal with it, having not sufficient teaching and understanding. Regarding judging, before I attempt to judge others I must judge myself. Then I got cure.

The flesh of the world does not know anything else but to judge.

Walking in the flesh we go to the same boat.

Thanks, keep writing, please.


Lisa Aune 6 years ago

Beautifully said.


Hello, hello, profile image

Hello, hello, 6 years ago from London, UK

Thank you for a fantastic hub. You spoke the truth with every word. These reasons you mentioned turned me off the church. So I pray at home when I need to and feel like.


Cari Jean profile image

Cari Jean 6 years ago from Bismarck, ND Author

Vladimir - thanks for reading. You're right that sometimes we have a sin problem but we might not even know that we do until the Holy Spirit reveals it. Also, it is important to know how deal with it and need to receive sufficient understanding in order to so. I agree with your statements about judging as well. Thanks for your comment.


Cari Jean profile image

Cari Jean 6 years ago from Bismarck, ND Author

Thanks, Lisa! Your comment is very much appreciated.


Cari Jean profile image

Cari Jean 6 years ago from Bismarck, ND Author

Hello Hello - I'm so sorry to hear that you have been turned off from the church. There are so many people who have been hurt in church. I pray that you and others would find healing for your hurts and would find perfect peace. Thanks so much for your comment.


coffeesnob 6 years ago

CAri

Great hub. Yes, I agree we must strive for that perfection in Christ - And I know how difficult that is. I believe the day I have reached perfection I will be absent from this body. Thank God that when we confess our sin he is faithful to forgive us and cleanse us.


Ann Nonymous profile image

Ann Nonymous 6 years ago from Virginia

Everyone is a sinner. Everyone sins. The difference is that we are saved by grace. So we are not perfect, as you pointed out, cari, to which I offer my sincerest Amen! But because we have been gifted with such a miraculous pardon called salvation we should make more of an effort towards holiness than others. And yet we still will never be perfect!

Very well done hub, Cari!


Ken R. Abell profile image

Ken R. Abell 6 years ago from ON THE ROAD

Amen, Cari Jean. So well said. The church is simply a collection of misfits seeking to live redemptively while lugging around their baggage & trying to experience community. No perfect people there.

Thank you for sharing from your heart.


Cari Jean profile image

Cari Jean 6 years ago from Bismarck, ND Author

coffeesnob - thanks so much for your comment. We serve such an awesome, graceful God - it's amazing how patient He is with us and all of our imperfections.


Cari Jean profile image

Cari Jean 6 years ago from Bismarck, ND Author

Ann Nonymous - I totally agree with you that we should try harder than others to strive towards holiness - I tried to make that point but I should have tried to emphasize it more. What a wonderful gift that we are indeed saved by grace! Thanks for your comment!


Cari Jean profile image

Cari Jean 6 years ago from Bismarck, ND Author

Ken - always appreciate you stoppin' in. Thanks so much for your well-said comment!


Sciantel 6 years ago

I here what your saying. Nice hub. We should focus more on the Bible and Jesus'examples on how He wants us to live, and then do the best we can do. Not always taking other Christian's advise, I rely more on Jesus' advise myself.I don't always do my best I admit, but when He sees us really trying, wonderful things can come into our lives. I liked what you had to say and us Christians here on hubpages need to stick together.


Cari Jean profile image

Cari Jean 6 years ago from Bismarck, ND Author

Sciantel - you're right Jesus should be our prime example instead of other Christians and leaders. When Jesus sees us trying and when He sees we have a willing heart I believe He blesses us for that. Thank you for your wonderful comment. Be Blessed!


allpurposeguru profile image

allpurposeguru 6 years ago from North Carolina

I've heard Christianity compared to one beggar telling another beggar where to get bread. As far as following other Christians is concerned, Paul at at least one point told a church to imitate him. Now if all have sinned, that includes Paul as much as anyone else. I'm sure that the unwritten stipulation was that the church must imitate Paul to the extent that Paul imitated Christ and that he lived what he preached. That puts a limit on how we follow Ted Haggard, Jimmy Swaggart, Oral Roberts, Pat Robertson, or any local pastor/deacon/choir director/Sunday school teacher who gets caught with pants down or hands in the cookie jar.

I think part of the problem is that we find it easy to be intolerant of someone else's sin and indulgent of our own. We ought to be intolerant of our own (while still receiving the grace of forgiveness) and if not indulgent, then at least unjudging of others' (while still disapproving of the sin even though not condemning the sinner).

You have explained it well.


Sky321 profile image

Sky321 6 years ago from Canada

You made some excellent points. We think alike.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 6 years ago from United States

This is an excellent hub and so true. Christians for the most part do the best they can. We all fall short. I am very particular about the church I attend because to be Jesus is love and acceptance of all types of people. I won't go to fire and brimstone churchs, or to church that you can't fit in without wearing the right outfit, etc. I just want to walk the path he lays before me to the best of my ability.


gracefaith profile image

gracefaith 6 years ago from United Kingdom

Hi there,

Great Hub and very accurate. We are in a fallen world and contending with our fallen nature even though we have the Holy Spirit. The Devil is the aggrivator of our sinful nature and this is the essence of Spiritual warfare- being of two worlds.

I do agree that imperfection is not hyocrisy. However, I do believe there is a double standard in Christian behaviour and I have discussed this in my recent Hub 'Sophisticated sin.' If you have a moment at any point take a look at it. I would really like to hear your thoughts on it

Grace and peace to you sister,

Fiona


Cari Jean profile image

Cari Jean 6 years ago from Bismarck, ND Author

allpurposeguru - thank you for your excellent comment. You're so right that we have to be disapproving of the sin but not of the sinner - love the sinner, hate the sin. Just as Jesus does. Be blessed!


Cari Jean profile image

Cari Jean 6 years ago from Bismarck, ND Author

Sky321 - thanks so much for your comment. I'll be sure to check out some of your hubs!


Cari Jean profile image

Cari Jean 6 years ago from Bismarck, ND Author

Pamela99 - I think it is important to belong to the best church for you. I have gone to all kinds of churches, but like you said it is good to go where everyone is accepted and where you feel accepted. Thanks for your comment.


Cari Jean profile image

Cari Jean 6 years ago from Bismarck, ND Author

gracefaith - first of all I love your name! Second of all, sorry for taking so long to respond to your comment. We are of two worlds caught between the Holy Spirit living in us and the devil who tries to deceive us. Thankfully we know that Jesus will be the final victor!

I will check out your hub, thanks for reading mine!


ii3rittles profile image

ii3rittles 6 years ago

Your spot on! Christians seem to try to hide their sins and act like they are better then everyone. Though not all do this most do. It almost makes me feel like I'm not worthy of being saved sometimes. But we are all human and we make mistakes thats why God sent Jesus. He knew we were doomed. We messed up back when Adam and Eve were created and its no different now. I personally have trouble judging because its easy to judge. Weather it be how someone looks, acts, dresses, talks, ect. but I have to remind myself I am not perfect either! I think the biggest reason people shy away from Christianity is because it is the truth. Not many people can handle the truth. Also, people think their lives will be easier and most times they get harder because we go through harder trials to test our faith. Its way easier to live in sin and except your ways then to repent them and find salvation thru Christ. Another thing that people missunderstand is that Christianity is not a religion, its a way of life. And its not really chosing to be a Christian or to be saved, its knowing you need it, you need Jesus and you need God. I didn't choose to be a Christian, I knew I needed to be because I don't fit in this broken world and I don't want to go to hell. More so then that, I want to know God. But great hub!! keep writing!! God bless!


Cari Jean profile image

Cari Jean 6 years ago from Bismarck, ND Author

ii3rittles - I totally agree with you that Christianity is not a religion. I like to say it is instead a relationship. A lot of religious people just don't get that. Thanks so much for your wonderful comment and for your encouragement. Be Blessed!


cristina327 profile image

cristina327 6 years ago from Manila

Great hub with great insights to ponder. Yes christians are not perfect and have still their weaknesses. Christians are in a life-long process of sanctification. We will never be perfect here on earth as long as we are in this body of flesh.Someday in heaven a christian will attain his perfection. Thank you for sharing this great truths. Remain blessed always.


Cari Jean profile image

Cari Jean 6 years ago from Bismarck, ND Author

Cristina - thank you so much for stopping in, I always appreciate your comments.


James A Watkins profile image

James A Watkins 6 years ago from Chicago

You've done an amazing job with a difficult subject. I give you a 10. Thank you for delivering this needful message. I love it!


Cari Jean profile image

Cari Jean 6 years ago from Bismarck, ND Author

James - wow! A ten from you means a lot! Thanks you so much!


DeBorrah K. Ogans profile image

DeBorrah K. Ogans 6 years ago

Cari Jean! Great hub! Amen! We are "forever becoming, we never arrive..." As long as we are on this side of heaven there is always room for improvement!

Thank you for sharing, In His love, Peace & Blessings!


Cari Jean profile image

Cari Jean 6 years ago from Bismarck, ND Author

DeBorrah - it's so great to hear from you and I really appreciate your comment. Be blessed!


Dave Mathews profile image

Dave Mathews 6 years ago from NORTH YORK,ONTARIO,CANADA

If we all became perfect people after being born again in Jesus, the news would spread so fast that everyone would want it and then where would our job as christians spreading the gospel be for us. Think about this!


Cari Jean profile image

Cari Jean 6 years ago from Bismarck, ND Author

Dave - Well, we all will be perfect one day when we get to spend eternity with God. But even that perfection does not cause nonChristians to convert. That's my opinion anyway. Thanks for your comment.


torconstantino profile image

torconstantino 6 years ago from Maryland

@Cari, great hub, great insight and profound truth! Thanks for sharing!


Cari Jean profile image

Cari Jean 6 years ago from Bismarck, ND Author

torconstantino - thanks so much for your comment. I really appreciate it.


HOOWANTSTONO profile image

HOOWANTSTONO 6 years ago

Thank God that Christians are not perfect, and if there was a chance that we could be perfect, then there would be no need for Jesus Christ, hence "Thank God" Its Jesus Christs perfection that makes us perfect, when God sees us "Born Again" he sees his Son, and then we are perfect, yet sinners made perfect.


Cari Jean profile image

Cari Jean 6 years ago from Bismarck, ND Author

HOOWANTSTONO - Good to hear from you! Thanks so much for your great comment. Yes, only Jesus is perfect!


Motown2Chitown 5 years ago

While reading a comment on a hub I had written, this hub turned up as a "related" hub. I read it, and was blown away. It's truly AWESOME! I actually hadn't read the hub prior to writing my own, but there are such similarities, I was a little blown away. THANKS for pointing this out - to Christians and non-Christians alike. Everyone needs to know that we are human, human, human, and not God. Only He is perfect. We are simply striving to be like Him. Again, awesome! :)


Cari Jean profile image

Cari Jean 5 years ago from Bismarck, ND Author

Motown2Chitown - thank you so much for your comment. I will have to check out your hub! You're right - we are simply striving to be like HIM!


Motown2Chitown 5 years ago

And, sometimes, it feels like an awful lot of striving, doesn't it? ;)


silly me 5 years ago

Great hub! Yes, Christians are still human and make mistakes. But I love how you also pointed out that we need to repent and strive to be more like Christ.


Cari Jean profile image

Cari Jean 5 years ago from Bismarck, ND Author

silly me - thanks for your comment - sometimes being a Christian can be hard but thank goodness we have the Holy Spirit to help us!


lone77star profile image

lone77star 5 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

Amen! Love it.

Perhaps behind everything which tarnishes the image of a Christian is ego -- the desire to look good or be right in the eyes of others. That entitlement to self-importance is what Jesus was fighting against. I love how you pointed out the need to be there for one another. Giving our love is worlds better than any concern for how we look to others, or whether or not we get quiche without peppers.


Cari Jean profile image

Cari Jean 5 years ago from Bismarck, ND Author

lone77star - thank you so much for your comment. You are so right that Christians can try so hard to look like a good Christian which is exactly what the Pharisees did.


CMCastro profile image

CMCastro 5 years ago from Baltimore,MD USA

The scripture that comes to mind when I read this hub was in Romans, chapter 3 verses 23 and 24. It tells us that we "all have sinned, and though we fall short of the glory of God, being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus". Behavior is "learned" from the ones who raised us. To change behavior is a personal effort, and to ask for God's guidance to do this takes total trust in His Word. Saying "born again" is only one part, following Christ is a daily learning experience. Asking God for forgiveness of sins daily and being thankful to Him for what Christ has done for us will give us assurance to know that there is desire to be just like Jesus. Thanks for your hub, Cari Jean.


Cari Jean profile image

Cari Jean 5 years ago from Bismarck, ND Author

CMCastro - thanks so much for your comment. The scripture you mentioned is a constant in my life! You're totally right - our behavior is learned from how we grew up. It took me a while to realize that just because my behavior is bad at times, doesnt' mean that I'm bad. But we do need to follow it up with asking for forgiveness and to continue to desire to be like Jesus - despite our shortcomings.


shawnwalstad 5 years ago from Coupeville, Washington

Thanks for writing this! It is always good to be reminded that we are not perfect, and also that God knows (& is not surprised by) this. When we stop being grateful for God's forgiveness we are in trouble. Thanks for being 'real' Cari Jean!


Cari Jean profile image

Cari Jean 5 years ago from Bismarck, ND Author

shawnwalstad - thanks so much for your comment - I really appreciate it. You are so right - God is not surprised when we are imperfect!!!


The Stages Of ME profile image

The Stages Of ME 4 years ago

Great hub ~ only room on that pedestal for one who earned it for all of us ~ I came to that realization long ago as well and is it not the most refreshing thing to know we will get to meet HIM one day ~ until then we will do our best in our imperfections :)

God Bless you

From Me an imperfect Christian woman and wife and mom hugs


Cari Jean profile image

Cari Jean 4 years ago from Bismarck, ND Author

The Stages of Me - thanks so much for your comment. It will truly be a wonderful moment to meet HIM and bask in all His glory! Blessings to you and your family.


womanatthewell 4 years ago

I have been writing a blog about my particular shortcomings. A reader condemned me for them, and basically said, that because I have sinned against good so much, that he may abandon me. I spent the better part of today desperately searching for A Christian who might not think that way. You have no idea how happy I am to read this, it really reached me. It spoke to me at a very critical time, as God is in the process of healing me of sexual immorality. Please pray for my journey, thanks again for writing, good hub!


Cari Jean profile image

Cari Jean 4 years ago from Bismarck, ND Author

womanatthewell - thank you so much for your wonderful comment - you truly blessed me by it. I think it is great that you are being transparent and are writing about your shortcomings and if a reader is going to abandon you because of that then he is the one who is totally missing out! I will pray for you and your journey - I too have gone through healing for sexual immorality and still have a little ways to go - it is a hard road but God will be with you to help and guide you. May you truly be blessed!


Shiningstar4u2c profile image

Shiningstar4u2c 4 years ago from Hilton Head Island

I happen to think this was a great read! Although I think Christians are perfect people, this was still a great read! I used to think just like this article but the Bible clearly states many wonderful and incredible statements concerning the beauty and perfection of the true Bride of Christ! Voted Up!


ShalahChayilJOY profile image

ShalahChayilJOY 4 years ago from Billings, Montana

Wonderful explanation of people that have come to Yeshua and still need a lot of healing and have a lot of maturing to do. Who comes to HIM and is instantly 'perfected' and matured? No one I know!


Cari Jean profile image

Cari Jean 4 years ago from Bismarck, ND Author

Shiningstar4u2c - thanks so much for your comment. Jesus is the only ONE who is truly perfect but I agree we can be made holy and righteous through HIM - but that is the only way!


Cari Jean profile image

Cari Jean 4 years ago from Bismarck, ND Author

ShalahChayilJOY - You are right on - no one who comes to Yeshua is instantly perfected and matured! It is so wonderful to know that we can come to HIM just as we are.


teacherjoe52 profile image

teacherjoe52 4 years ago

Hi.

This is true,

I believe Jesu will not conquer some of our bad habits because: One it keeps us from getting big headed,

two it helps us to be non judgemental of others.

I just wish more so called Christians would not be so judgemental. That is why I stopped going to church. Every Sunday "Christians" mocked me for being fat or critized me for smoking.

God bless you.


Cari Jean profile image

Cari Jean 4 years ago from Bismarck, ND Author

teacherjoe52 - thanks so much for your comment. I am so sorry for how you were treated in church - so many people have been hurt there. I hope and pray you will someday give it another try and find a more loving church family - they are out there! It can be hard to be completely non-judgemental but the more we show the Love of Christ towards one another, the more people will want to come to know Him.

God bless you as well.


lone77star profile image

lone77star 2 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

So very true!

Ego is the culprit. It's the great blindness that Jesus saw in the Pharisees -- all of those who wanted to be "first."

When we become humble, then ego doesn't stand a chance.


kiddiecreations profile image

kiddiecreations 2 years ago

Great hub! I agree completely. Jesus is perfect, but His followers are not. Important for us to remember. Thanks for sharing!


deorganicchurch profile image

deorganicchurch 2 years ago from Claymont, DE

It is true that we are vessels of Christ still housed in sinful flesh. Each day we strive to be more like the master, yet we seem to fall on a regular basis. It is the power of Christ working within us that helps us walk after Christ as he draws us unto himself. Someday we will step out of this body of death and be glorified and not have to deal with this sinful nature anymore. Hallelujah! I look forward to that day.


Michael 15 months ago

If a Christian is not perfect - which is used as an excuse every time yet another scandal and hypocrisy is exposed - he/she has no valid reason to demean, insult, berate others, make laws or tell anyone how to live their lives or whom to love. This is the only commandment they should live by "Thou shalt not meddle in the lives of others for thou art crunchy and good with ketchup.


Cari Jean profile image

Cari Jean 11 months ago from Bismarck, ND Author

Michael - I agree that too often Christians use the excuse "nobody is perfect" or "all have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God" (from the book or Romans). They shouldn't so easily do this. No Christian is perfect but it doesn't mean they shouldn't still strive for holiness. Unfortunately, when Christians are striving for holiness but mess up, there are many (believers and nonbelievers) who are quick to celebrate their fall from grace instead of trying to help them back up.

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