There is a new movie out starring Denzel Washington named The Equalizer. It is probably not for everyone. It’s DEFINITELY not for those with a weak stomach! There is a lot of graphic violence throughout the movie.
The point of today’s blog is not to review the movie, but rather springboard off of a saying that Denzel’s character says. In the movie, Denzel is a philosopher of sorts. He reads a lot. He tries to give life advice to friends. And he gives a lot of quotes. One of the quotes that stuck out to me came early in the movie. He was helping a friend to lose weight, and he says, “Progress. Not perfection.”
Boom. There it is. The thing I struggle with. Almost every day. I’m not perfect, and it is painful. When I mess up, I have thoughts like “I’m horrible. I might as well quit. I’m a horrible role model. People are watching me, and I know it’s important, and I still blew it.” And guilt sets in. And a downward spiral ensues.
One of the main problems that I encounter is the unbalanced weight that I assign to negative things. For example, if 99 people tell me that I look thin, and 1 person tells me that I look like I’ve gained weight, I will think about the one negative comment 100 times more than the positive comments. It’s pure madness.
It’s time for the equalizer. It’s time to weigh things properly. It’s time to measure progress, not perfection. God has me on a journey. I don’t need to compare myself to others. Or even to what others say about me. What I need to do is find out where God thinks I should be and measure myself against that.
This morning I was reading scripture and I was greatly encouraged by a verse from Psalm 103:8, “The Lord is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love.” I was struck with the phrase “slow to get angry.” I realized that this is God’s heart. But it is often not my heart towards myself. I mess up and get angry quickly.
I resolve to treat myself (mentally and emotionally) more like God does. I will be slow to get angry. I will be filled with unfailing love. I will believe the best. I will be filled with hope. God is the great equalizer of all that is out of balance in my life.
Progress, people. Not perfection.
- Buddy Shuh
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