I believe the most involuntary of all pageants would have to be the Pageant of Mistakes. You don’t put yourself in it — other people do. Consequently, everyone and their cousin seem to be self-appointed judges. But don’t worry, no one ever wins.
I get so tired with people picking apart others. “So-and-so has a bad past, don’t hang out with them.” “What’s-their-face does things that look bad — you don’t need to be seen around them.” “That one person doesn’t seem quite up to your standards.” And the judgments continue, on and on.
I understand looking out for your family or best friends. I understand wanting the best for the people you care about, which includes the best person to do life with them. I understand all of that. I do. But what I don’t think most people understand is: if you expect a perfect person according to whatever fantasy “ideal list” you have created in your mind, you will always be disappointed — no matter what. And guess what? Your loved ones (and YOU) are imperfect, too!
I’m not saying that people should just settle for what or who comes along. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t have a list of attributes you look for in someone. I’m not saying that it’s wrong to give your opinion of someone who is pursuing someone you care about.
I’m simply saying that you are imperfect, your family members are imperfect, your friends are imperfect, and every other single person you meet is imperfect. That imperfection is perfectly fine, though. Two imperfect people can have a perfectly wonderful love story. In fact, a lot do, just ask your grandparents.
There comes a time in life when you just have to say about the person you love, “I know what you’ve done and all the mistakes you have made, but I love you without hesitation. You’re not perfect, and neither am I. That’s why we’re perfect for each other — we know what it’s like to live through mistakes and we have learned our lessons.”
When you really, really love someone, you don’t notice their flaws as much. You just simply want to love them. That’s how Jesus looks at us. That’s how Jesus always saw people. He made friends with prostitutes, murderers, liars, adulterers, etc. Guess what? He didn’t sit there and tell others to shy away from one another because of all the sin He saw in each person He encountered. Instead, He looked at the heart of the person and loved them more than they could imagine.
Jesus, well, He’s my role-model on how to love people. He just so happens to be the one teaching me daily what it’s like to see someone for who they are, not necessarily what they have done. He is the true judge of the Pageant of Mistakes, and His judgment is simply: “I have taken the crown of thorns to cover any and all mistakes you have and will make. You are all disqualified from the pageant of mistakes. Instead, I invite you into My kingdom. All of you are sons and daughters of the Most High King. You do not belong in a pageant for a crown — you were already crowned with grace and love for your birthright. You are royal by birth into My family. THAT makes you perfectly Mine. Be loving, be humble, and act like the co-heir that our Father made you.”
That’s the way I want to see the people I meet, the people I see regularly, and even the people who irritate me. I want to seem them through the eyes of the man who loves them so much that He wore a crown of thorns and took the place of their mistakes for them. I want to see and love like Jesus. You should, too.