Being able to own my past, my shortcomings, my sin doesn’t make me less than others, it puts me in a position to grow and learn. Think of someone you think is not only a truly great person, but a good person. Are they boastful, arrogant, or are they open to accepting criticism? Can they accept that there are areas they still need to grow in? Do they accept the wholeness of their life? John goes on to say that those who do admit their sin then find forgiveness from God. When I deny a part of my life how can I be whole before God? It is in admitting and claiming my imperfections that God can work in me.
It may also be true that what I see as a shortcoming God sees as a strength and blessing. The Apostle Paul thought his thorn in the flesh was a hinderance in his life and for the gospel. He prayed fervently for God to remove it. God’s answer was that what Paul saw as a hinderance was an important lesson for Paul. We could add that countless people have found strength in reading about Paul’s struggle and God’s answer to trust in him more. And so, we like Paul can say that it is in our weakness that God is strong. The person who denies or hides his or her shortcomings not only is lying to God and themselves, but they are also missing out on being a testimony to others.
So, if we are to be perfectly whole we can’t leave parts of ourselves just laying around. We need to bring the whole of who we are to God and let him make of us what he would, messes, mistakes, shortcomings and all.