“Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” – Matthew 5:48
Feel the pulse of every good parent, and you’ll understand why many desire great plans for their children. However, a parent’s love and care cannot be compared to that of our heavenly father, who desires that you not only prosper in your body, soul, and spirit but also be perfect just like Christ is, lacking nothing.
What do you think of when you hear or see the word “perfection”? Do you mentally counter with “It’s not possible?” or do you think of a life without challenges or temptations? Or do you think of the fact that it’s what God-Who’s perfect-would wants for us, His children? Perfection is a concept that has long captivated the human mind. From striving for perfection in personal relationships to seeking perfection in professional endeavors, the pursuit of perfection is an intrinsic part of our lives. But is perfection attainable? While some argue that perfection is a myth, an ideal we can never truly achieve. Others believe that perfection is not only something we can desire, but it is also an attainable reality. Surprisingly, studies suggest that the higher the perfectionism, the more psychological disorders one will experience. However, this is not a fact with God because perfection is attainable with the help of the Holy Spirit.
The Bible teaches us that God is perfect. Deuteronomy 32:4 says, “He is the Rock, His works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is He.” And so, just as He is perfect, we are also called to be perfect (Matthew 5:48). The command in Matthew 5:48 might seem daunting, but it is important to note that the Greek word for “perfect” used in this verse is “teleios,” which means “complete” or “mature”. Thus, the call to perfection is not a call to flawlessness but to wholeness, maturity, and spiritual growth.
A Journey, Not a Destination: Enjoy the Ride!
In his book, The Pursuit of Excellence, Ted Engstrom states, “Excellence is a journey, not a destination.” We all pursue excellence in all aspects of our lives. Even the scriptures admonish us in Ecclesiastes 9:10, “Whatsoever your hand finds to do, do it with your might.”
It is important to keep in mind that perfection is a journey, not a destination. Perfection is a journey because of the spiritual growth I mentioned in the previous paragraph. Coming to Christ is like planting a seed; if it’s going to grow into a tree, it has to be watered. A tree may not keep increasing in height, but it’s growing as far as it keeps bearing fruits. So you can say that you’ve reached perfection when you keep bearing fruits.
As believers, we believe that we are made in God’s image, and since He is perfect, you have the potential to achieve perfection. Howbeit, this does not mean you will never make mistakes or backtrack on your commitment to call it quits on the sinfulness that hedges in on you.
Mistakes may set in, but despite them, you should strive for excellence and follow the standards of righteousness in God’s word while recognizing that mistakes and failures are a natural part of the journey. So even when you make mistakes, don’t wave the white flag because it’s through those mistakes that you grow to maturity, complete and whole.
God’s Got Your Back
“But he said, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
- 2 Corinthians 12:9
Picture a potter crafting a beautiful vase with clay. The potter starts with a lump of clay and shapes it into his desired form. The process requires precision, patience, and attention to detail. As the potter works, the vase starts to take shape, and each stroke of the potter’s hand brings the vessel closer to perfection. The final product is not flawless but is complete and beautiful in its imperfections.
What does it mean to say God’s got your back? In this journey of perfection, God is the One seeing you through. He’s the potter that will never leave the clay to mold itself. You’re not alone. God, like the Potter, is with you every step of the way, guiding and shaping you into the kind of person you are meant to be; holy, virtuous, and righteous. As the Apostle Paul writes in Philippians 1:6, “Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”
Also, as regards attaining perfection, Sheila Walsh, an evangelist and inspirational speaker, had this to say in an article in Woman Alive magazine, “I believed that if I could be the ‘perfect’ Christian, then God would always love me. That worked … until it didn’t anymore. Then, when I was too tired to keep trying to be good enough, I began to understand that it had never been about me being good enough; it’s always been about Christ and the work He finished on the cross.”
So, you see, perfection is not something you can achieve on your own but rather something God works in you. Therefore, as you strive to let go of your sinful ways, you must remember to rely on God’s strength, not your own (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Go, despite the Odds.
Before Apostle Paul became the most influential apostle of the Bible, he was a fierce persecutor of the church. However, Paul’s life was transformed after encountering Jesus on the road to Damascus.
He faced numerous challenges and obstacles throughout his ministry, including persecution, imprisonment, and physical ailments. Yet, he persevered in his mission to spread the Gospel and encourage believers. In his letters to the early churches, Apostle Paul emphasized the importance of spiritual growth and maturity, urging his readers to strive for perfection in their faith.
In Philippians 3:12-14, He writes, “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. Paul was trying to explain that his perfection was in his continuous spiritual growth. Despite his past mistakes and struggles, he continued to press on toward perfection, relying on God’s strength and grace. His example inspires all believers to strive for perfection in their faith, even in the face of adversity.
Beloved, stop dwelling on your past sins and mistakes. There’s something much greater waiting for you – Grace. It’s the kind of grace that waits for your return from a sinful life, meets you where you are, and welcomes you with open arms. So instead of getting caught up in a struggle to attain perfection as conventionally misunderstood, focus on Jesus and all He has in store for you. Do you know you can stay for days, weeks, months and years without returning to that unrighteous lifestyle? Yes, it’s possible! Just choose perfection in Christ, and your life will forever experience a transformation.