Imagine cursing in the middle of reading a prayer.
In the summer of 2017, I published my two-volume book, Take Every Thought to Prayer. I wrote the first draft of this book in the fall of 2016. Between January and early August of 2017, I read and edited both of the books at least a half dozen times. Each time I completed a review, I felt confident that I had found all of the mistakes. Operating under a deadline to have the two books available for Christmas, I edited the books one “final” time. I had to make sure there were no grammatical, spelling, or punctuation mistakes. Phew. A mistake free book.
As my wife and I walked in the starry pre-dawn, our faces lit only by the light of our smartphones, we used the Amazon Kindle version of my published prayer book as a devotional. There it was. Another mistake. I had used the word “I” instead of the word “a” in a sentence.
An expletive slipped out of my mouth. Forgive me God. I’m sorry Karen.
I’ve found an estimated two dozen mistakes in my two published books so far. To the credit of my publisher, I declined their offer to have a professional editor edit my books so I could save some money. My wife reassures me that most of the mistakes will not be easily noticed. As the author wanting to accomplish “perfection”, I’m more sensitive to the slighest imperfection than the typical reader. To tell the truth, I’d give myself a good grade for the effort. The mistakes are minor and infrequent.
God is good. He can take anything and turn it into a spiritual lesson. The experience got me thinking. God doesn’t expect perfection from us. He knows that is impossible. The preciousness of our work for Him is our desire to please and serve Him.
Imperfection is something every human can relate with. As readers trip across mistakes in the 757 prayers I published, they will encounter my imperfection. They will also relate with me. My mistakes will resonate with them, as I come across more genuine and authentic. It was not a machine that wrote these books but a weak, mortal, and flawed human. The reader will be reminded they too can give imperfect gifts to God that He will use. In my case, the readers who God intended to be blessed by the published prayers will be blessed by the prayers, no matter how many mistakes they may find.
You’ve been asked to prepare and share your testimony. Do you put it off because it has to be perfect? Are you perpetually editing it to make it perfect? Your testimony is not inspiring anyone while it remains in draft mode. Give it your best effort and then give it to God. Submit it. Publish it. Share it. Get it out there. The broken people that God brings to read your testimony will be all the more touched by the honesty of your story made evident by your mistakes. In fact, the more “perfect” your testimony is, the less relatable it may be.