Today, I get to share with you a book called “Stealing the First Mate” by Tabitha Bouldin.
But first I want to talk a little bit about something that struck me several times throughout the story. No one is perfect.
It’s true. No one is perfect. Not me, not my husband, my parents, my kids, my friends… Not you.
No one is good but God.
And because he is good, we can trust him in all things, even when we can’t see any possibility of things working out.
Please note that this post contains affiliate links for your convenience. If you make a purchase through one of the links, I may make a small commission. I only recommend books and resources that I’ve enjoyed personally, or believe that you would like. You can read my full disclosure here. You will also find information on Scripture translations there.
No One Is Perfect
No one is perfect. As hard as we may try ourselves , or as much as we may depend on someone else, no one is perfect. We make mistakes. We make bad decisions and selfish choices. Because relationships are complicated.
We make good choices with not so great motives, and terrible decisions with the best of motivation.
In Romans 7, Paul explains this last idea – sin, battling for superiority, but God has already won!
No One Is Good, No Not One
No one is good, no, not one. We can have the best of intentions, like the dad in the book below, ‘Stealing the First Mate’ who just wanted the best for his little girl.
Unfortunately, as a woman full grown, her idea of what’s best wasn’t the same as his. And while some things are black and white, others are much more subjective.
Sometimes our ‘good intentions’ are more selfish than we want to admit. Even when it comes to wanting the best for our kids because we don’t want to see them struggling or suffering.
Never mind that adversity is when our faith gets tested and has a good chance to grow.
Never mind that you have to have a problem to get/and appreciate a miracle.
We don’t want to see them having a hard time. Because that must mean we are not perfect, we failed to raise them right…
Because it’s our fault when those we are responsible for are less than perfect, right? Their behavior is a reflection on us, isn’t it?
Umm…wrong. Free will means we have choices, and since we aren’t all-knowing, all-wise, etc, we can’t possibly be right every time.
No One is Perfect Bible Verse
The biggest thing about this problem is that we tend not to believe it. We’re shocked when we fail, or when someone lets us down. We seem to expect ourselves, and/or those around us to be perfect.
If everyone, or even most people were perfect, would God have needed to have a rescue plan?
But God, through Paul here, makes it very clear in this No one is perfect Bible verse passage that the sin condition affects every single person.
Romans 3 10-12
As it is written:
There is no one righteous, not even one.Romans 3 10-12 HCSB
11 There is no one who understands;
there is no one who seeks God.
12 All have turned away;
all alike have become useless.
There is no one who does what is good,
not even one.[b]
Now, if we only had access to these couple of verses, we’d be in sad shape. All our efforts and attempts to do the right thing would be as filthy rags, or garbage. (Isaiah 64.6)
But we’re not without hope! God is a God of hope, and he made a way for us!
Recognizing that no one is perfect, including me, is the first step. Without that, salvation does not hold much meaning, does it?
As my pastor likes to say, the Gospel by itself isn’t really good news, unless it’s in context with the rest of the story, and all the examples from the Old Testament of God’s faithfulness even with man’s repeated failures. Then the beauty of God’s grace and mercy, his patience and love shine through clearly.
No One is Good But God
Those two words are so powerful. But God. They turn the whole sentence on its head. No one is good. But God is more than able to redeem, renew, restore, transform, and save all of us. Anyone who asks, who genuinely repents.
No one is good but God, which is why we’re to fear God, not man! For what can man do to us? Yes, they can absolutely make life miserable, but ‘life’ is temporary. It’s like the blink of an eye, in comparison with eternity. And Eternity, well that’s what really matters, what’s going to last, though I’ll be the first to admit, I forget. I live far too much in the here and now.
No Man Is Perfect-But God Forgives Those Who Ask
Well, recognizing that no man is perfect, no person other than Jesus is perfect, is the first step. We all make mistakes. And there’s grace to be had, at the feet of Jesus. Understanding grace, what it is, how it works, is a pretty powerful step in every journey of faith.
There is forgiveness available for all our sins. If we’re talking about the real world, and ourselves personally, there are 3 steps to salvation. Admitting that no one is perfect, including ‘me’ is the first step, followed by believing that God is able and willing to save us, then confessing that he is our LORD.
If we’re talking about the young man in today’s story who went to a party he shouldn’t have, there’s forgiveness for that. If we’re talking about the trusted adult who told him to call if he ever found himself in trouble, but then didn’t help when he got that phone call, leaving both of them with years of problems, well, they eventually find forgiveness too.
Forgiving self is hard. Forgiving others is hard. No one is good but God, and he’s good at lots of things, including forgiving, and helping us forgive!!!
And now, the book that got me focused on the whole “No man is perfect” concept all over again: Stealing the First Mate. A great title and play on words, since Darcy is not only Nigel’s longest and best friend, but daughter of the tour boat pirate ship owner.
About the Book
Book: Stealing the First Mate
Author: Tabitha Bouldin
Genre: Christian Contemporary Romance
Release date: June 29, 2021
Sometimes, happily ever after is as elusive as a pirate’s treasure.
Darcy Riggins dove headfirst into the online dating pool and sank. Every time.
Her lifelong dream of becoming a wife and mother becomes more elusive every year. So, taking the lack of a Mr. Right in her life as a decided “No!” from God, Darcy gives up altogether.
Single and happy is not an oxymoron. Right?
Nigel Jones has loved Darcy for ages, but her father (his boss, of course) ordered him to keep his feelings to himself, thanks to a stupid mistake that Darcy (thankfully) doesn’t know about. Too bad her dad does.
Being single and content turns out to be tougher than Darcy imagined, and when she begins doubting everything she’s ever known, Nigel decides it’s time to admit his mistakes, tell the truth, and trust God for the outcome.
In this “forbidden-love-meets-friends-to-more” novel, Stealing the First Mate continues the Elnora Island romances of the Independence Islands Series featuring five islands, six authors, and a boatload of happily-ever-afters.
The Independence Islands Series: beach reads aren’t just for summer anymore.
Click here to get your copy!
And don’t miss my reviews on the rest of this incredible series here!
Review: No One Is Perfect, Not Even In Fiction!
No one is perfect. This book does a great job of exploring that concept. Only Jesus is perfect, and the rest of us have to learn to accept that we’re not perfect, and neither are the ones we love. We learn to lean into grace.
Nigel seems pretty amazing, in how he lives out his friendship with Darcy, and tries his best to live within her father’s boundaries, however ridiculous they may be. He watches out for her and proves often that he notices her preferences. But he lets misplaced guilt shame him for far too long, unfortunately.
Darcy is such an adventurous soul, and I love how often she gets to engage with animals throughout the story. From horses to dolphins dogs, pelicans and whales, it’s always something.
Her desires to be what her dad wants her to be, and please him, and her quest for marriage and family, while not necessarily wrong, were extremely limiting, and it was neat to watch her struggle, grow and surrender in all the right places.