For years, I chased perfection. And to be honest, I still struggle.
While in my mind, I know better than to think perfection is king, [rather than the thief of everything] in my actions, I still strive….
- to earn my salvation
- to make it in this world
- to achieve my dreams, success and influence
- to be accepted and liked by others
- to be loved, even by God
If I look closely at what I’m chasing, I see clearly that what my head knows, my heart still doubts most days.
But, as I’ve come to know his grace and mercy, my pursuit of perfection has slowed. Instead I chase after him, his heart, his love and his relationship. To know him, grow in him and be like him.
As I see his face more clearly, I see my sin in right alignment. The word “perfection” became tainted. I despised it. It was my frienemy now, arch nemesis.
Then I read it…
Be perfect therefor, as your Heavenly Father is perfect. Matt 5:48
For months I struggled with it. How can I possibly be perfect as God, without achieving perfection?
In divine fashion and “perfect” timing, he opened my eyes and heart to see.
Perfection, my child is IN ME. Through ME, it is possible. In fact, it’s advisable and a worthy pursuit, it just looks different than you think!
The Three Stages of Perfection
1. Perfect Relationship
We are perfect because of our eternal relationship with Jesus Christ. When we become God’s children, we are washed clean and declared “not guilty.” He now considers us Holy, blameless and righteous because of his Son’s sacrifice on our behalf.
This perfect relationship, despite how badly we screw up (and we will, daily) is unchangeable and gurantees that we will one day be made completely perfect.
In Christ you have been brought to fullness. ~ Colossians 2:10
It’s not a contract, but a covenant that God has made with us!
2. Perfect Progress
As we grow closer in our relationship with Christ, we mature spiritually, not just in learning from Christ but in learning to obey him.
As we press on, living and serving in love, we progress closer to complete perfection.
It is not however our service that perfects us, rather, as God perfects us, we do good deeds in response to what he’s done for us…. It is an overflow of love in gratitude for Christ.
Unlike the previous, this stage of perfection fluctuates, dependfing on the stage of life we’re in and our daily walk with God.
3. Completely Perfect
There will come a day when Christ returns for his bride and will bring us with him to his eternal kingdom. There, we will be glorified and made completely new and perfect.
But there’s far more to life for us. We’re citizens of high heaven! We’re waiting the arrival of the Savior, the Master, Jesus Christ, who will transform our earthy bodies into glorious bodies like his own. He’ll make us beautiful and whole with the same powerful skill by which he is putting everything as it should be, under and around him. Philippians 3:20-21
So while perfection is possible, it is grounded solely in the faith that saves us! There is nothing, not a morsel of good that will earn or achieve us this status. It is only by the blood of Jesus that cloaks us in regal garnments and wipes our shame and guilt right clean.
While on most days it feels like he’s failing me, he promises to carry me through to completion.
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. Philippians 1:6
So I press on, standing firm on his promises.