DAILY DEVOTIONALS

The Upper Room Devotional for 24 August 2023 – Too Perfect

The Upper Room Devotional for 24 August 2023 - Too Perfect
The Upper Room Devotional for 24 August 2023 – Too Perfect

The Upper Room Devotional for 24 August 2023

The Upper Room Devotional for 24 August 2023, Thursday Message by Mike C. Bertoglio (Georgia, USA)

TOPIC: Too Perfect

TODAY’S READING
Romans 12:1-8

Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of the mind, so that you may discern what is the will of God — what is good and acceptable and perfect. – Romans 12:2 (NRSVUE)

As we left our hotel while on a recent trip, I noticed several plants in the lobby. They all looked healthy. One in particular, an orchid, had several beautiful blossoms. As I moved closer to the orchid, I reached out to touch a leaf. The leaf felt stiff. Then I noticed the “soil” in the container was not real. Neither was the plant. Nearer to the door were two other plants I did not recognize. They also had beautiful leaves, but no flowers. I reached out to touch a leaf, assuming it was fake. Then I noticed a brown spot at the end of another leaf. To my surprise it was a real plant! The too-perfect plant was not real. The plant with the blemish was the real one.

The world expects us to have a perfect appearance — perfect skin and the ideal weight, perfect partners, and perfect children. Yet pursuing that kind of perfection does not always lead to abundant life.

The Bible reminds us not to live according to the false pretenses of the world, where perfect looks are all too frequently emphasized. Rather, we are to focus on the internal gifts and graces and on the renewing of our minds. Jesus loved those with blemishes and those on the margins of society. Likewise, we can learn to love ourselves, even though we are imperfect.

TODAY’S PRAYER
O God, help us to love ourselves and to accept our blemishes, realizing they are signs of our humanity. In the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Amen.

THOUGHT FOR THE DAY
I don’t have to be perfect for God to love me.

PRAYER FOCUS
To love myself as God loves me

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More From Mike C. Bertoglio

The Upper Room Devotional for 24 August 2023 Messageis a daily devotional magazine published in more than 30 languages and 100 countries around the world. The daily meditations are written by readers of the magazine and others interested in sharing their faith experiences through writing—both laity and clergy, published authors and new writers. Read More.

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