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The Problem With Perfect People

Perfect people are great. For real. I mean, they never swerve out in front of a car, they never forget people’s birthdays, they never skip flossing, and their hair always looks ready for Broadway spotlights. 

There’s only one itty-bitty problem with a perfect person.  

They don’t exist. 

Some people look that way, act that way, maybe even feel that way—but the fact remains, none of us are perfect. 

Not even our characters.

Sometimes it’s easy to fall in love with our book people, glorify our book people, idolize our book people. We make them handsome, because we want them to be. We make them charming, because gee whiz, why not? We make them witty and happy and noble, because we’re the author and we have that right. Don’t we?

Yes, of course we do. 

But friend, never make them perfect. 

No one always does the right thing. No one always feels like getting on their knees and honoring God. No one always forgives everyone, all the time, without question. 

Real people hurt. 

They cry.

They get angry and say the wrong things. They blame other people. Sometimes they even blame God. They get to places where they doubt, where they moan, where they crumble—and only the strong ones stand back up. 

So when you’re writing those book people, author, make them real. Let them mess up. Let them disappoint you sometimes. Let them stray away from the neat and tidy creature you’ve raised them to be.

Then let them end with triumph. Watch them prove their worth, their manhood, their womanhood. Know when they want to give up, but smile when they keep moving forward anyway. 

They won’t be perfect. That’s true. They won’t even be mostly perfect.

But then again, perfect people aren’t real. 

I guess that’s their problem, isn’t it? 

Hannah Linder is a Christian fiction author, graphic designer, and photographer.

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