Good evening! This is the post on perfectionism from my other blog. I’ve only really touched on the subject. My perfectionism struggle, as mentioned below, is connected to all this. Questions? Comments? Don’t worry, they’ll probably be a part 2.
Our word “perfect” comes from the Latin word, “perfectus”, meaning “finished”, or “completed”. In modern day, “perfect” means, as a verb, “Make (something) completely free from faults or defects, or as close to such a condition as possible”, and as an adjective, it means “Having all the required or desirable elements, qualities, or characteristics; as good as it is possible to be.”
What does the Bible say about being perfect?
Matthew 5:48 says, “You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” ……..Ouch. (If you wish to read it in context, here’s a link: http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew+5&version=ESV It’s part of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount)
However, can we be good people at all, let alone perfect? As David wisely states in Psalm 53;
The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”
They are corrupt, doing abominable iniquity;
there is none who does good.
2 God looks down from heaven
on the children of man
to see if there are any who understand,
who seek after God.
3 They have all fallen away;
together they have become corrupt;
there is none who does good,
not even one.
We are all corrupt in our nature. We are all sinful, rebellious creatures of God from the moment we were born. Any glimmer of redemption for us comes from Jesus, not from our good deeds, and anything truly good that we do, think, or say is really from the Holy Spirit working on our hearts. We are not powerful enough to overcome sin and death. We were hopeless. This is why God sent Jesus to be our Savior.
What does this all have to do with perfectionism?
My personal struggle with perfectionism has been believing that I can earn my way into heaven. Sometimes I don’t even realize that my mindset is actually that I need to earn God’s favor. That’s when I am called back to the truth.
Newsflash, Melody. You can’t earn heaven.
But Jesus earned heaven for us. He took the punishment we justly deserved. And he defeated death for us, His chosen people, so that we never have to fear death again. We never have to fear to draw close to our Creator. In that one perfect sacrifice, Jesus took care of our punishment once and for all.
Will we struggle with sin? Yes.
Can we ever be perfect by ourselves? Not a chance.
Will we ever be perfect? You betcha.
“And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Philippians 1:6
Jesus didn’t sacrifice for us, convert our souls, and then back off and leave us on our own. He sent a Helper, the Holy Spirit (who is God). Therefore, we are not on our own in this world, in our sin. God is with us.
And God WILL finish the wonderful work He began in us.
We are sinful. But someday we won’t be. Someday, when Jesus returns, or when He calls us home, we’ll go to be with Him. And we’ll be perfect, because Jesus was perfect for us.
We aren’t perfect. Yet.