Author Amy Carroll remembers the moment God’s love broke through her struggle with perfectionism.

She was one of several speakers at a women’s conference. To help attendees visualize God’s love, another speaker asked the women to participate in a mock wedding, complete with a veil, a bouquet of flowers, and aisle to walk down. Her groom, waiting for her at the altar, was Jesus.

One of the last women to participate was a 90-year-old woman who was barely able to shuffle down the aisle. She’d insisted, however, and did it with tears of joy streaming down her face.

Someone leaned over to Amy and said, “That woman is dying. She met Jesus two weeks ago.”

At that moment, the shell around Amy’s heart cracked open, and she fell to the floor weeping. God required nothing of the old woman. She’d spent her entire life apart from Jesus and now had limited time to serve Him. Yet, He loved her completely.

The pursuit of perfection is a paradox. We seek it, but we can never attain it. Chasing perfection doesn’t infuse our souls with life, it crushes it.

Matthew 5:48, which says, “You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” We then try to love that out by maintaining an ever-growing list of things that we do “right.” But earning God’s love by “measuring up” doesn’t work. We can’t earn God’s love. We experience it by recognizing your need for a Savior and resting in His grace.

Amy Carroll is with us on our Focus on the