One of the most exciting major league baseball games I ever saw came excruciatingly close to being one for the record books. One mistake, however, turned it into just another game.

Milt Wilcox of the Detroit Tigers was pitching against the Chicago White Sox. He retired the first 26 batters. With two outs in the last inning, he was just one man away from a perfect game—only the eleventh in more than 100 years of major league baseball. But White Sox batter Jerry Hairston got a hit, and Wilcox missed his place in history.

Perfection eludes all of us. We get up in the morning determined to get it right today, but before we know it we’ve sinned. The same thing happened to God’s servants in the Bible. We can see from great biblical characters how tough it is to achieve perfection. God called David “a man after My own heart” (Acts 13:22), yet even he fell (Ps. 32:5). And Paul, the greatest missionary ever, admitted that he did what he didn’t want to do (Rom. 7:15).

Sadly, all of us fall short of perfection. When we do, it’s our responsibility to confess our sins to God and accept His mercy. Even when the curse of imperfection hits, we can learn from it and keep on growing.