What if I told you that I am perfect?
Would you laugh? Would you think that I was stuck up or cocky? Yet, why would this be a problem? After all, this is what we tend to portray on social media and in social situations every day. Think about it:
When was the last time you posted a selfie or family photo that was, how shall I say, un-flattering and/or simply hideous? “Hey everyone, check out this [ghastly] photo of my [insert name or relation indicator here].” No, we usually don’t do that! Instead, we carefully select and post the best [airbrushed, child-obedient, picture-perfect vacation] photos that portray “perfection.” Come on, you know that it’s true!
When was the last time you were at the office telling your boss or co-workers about your life struggles? Chances are, you wouldn’t do this. If the world is your oyster and you are on the fast track to success, you can’t let others see you sinking amidst the waves of life, right?
Maybe you were at the Country Club talking with your golf buddies Winston and Muffy, telling them that your life is going downhill and that you feel like a failure. Oops, wait; you can’t do that because “that would not be posh or socially acceptable, dahling!” [To be clear, I do not attend a Country Club or know of any “Winstons” or “Muffys.”]
And, what about at Church? On Sunday morning, do you simply smile, put on your “Jesus face,” tell people that you are fine, claim Jeremiah 29:11, and comment that you are “too blessed to be stressed?” Do you think that any of those “perfect Christians” would understand if you were to show them the real “stuff” that you are wrestling with?
If we’re completely honest, we must admit that we desire to only portray the best things about our lives; that we have it all together and that things are going great. “I am okay. Life if great. Everything is perfect!” …Even when, it’s not.
This is where we put up our walls and put on our masks. Now, this blog post is not focused on “masks.” You can read another blog post that I wrote about those “masks” HERE.
This post is all about being perfect.
Side note: I do not mean to insinuate that we cannot be positive about our lives and when things are going great. Praise the Lord for those times! Nor am I suggesting that we just mope around in quiet, defeated despair, like an Eeyore looking for his tail on a cloudy day. Believe me, I would much rather be positive than negative! However, above all of that, I desire to be real.
What if I told you that I am imperfect?
I know that this claim would probably come as a real shocker to most [read sarcasm]. “But, you are a Christian and Christians don’t have problems…they are ‘perfect’?” Wow, how I wish this was true; but it’s not. This portrayal is not only inaccurate, it’s unbiblical! Jesus even reminds us in John 16:33 that, “…In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”
What is Jesus saying here? Does he mean that we MIGHT have troubles, depending on our lot in life, our family upbringing, our subconscious reaction to psychological stimuli, or depending on which way the stock market moves? No! Jesus states that we WILL have troubles in this world. Life will not be perfect. There will be pain, disappointment, uncertainties, sickness, loss, traffic, taxes, bad hair days, and politics. After all, we are not living in the Garden of Eden anymore.
Yes, I am a Christian, but I am far from perfect. Last I checked, Jesus Christ was the only perfect One. I am just one of his wayward sheep who constantly need to be reminded of my imperfections and my reliance on him.
I stumble and fall, sometimes on a daily basis. At times I say and do things that I know are not right. I let my selfish, independent nature [sin] take over, pulling me away from God’s holy standard. And I am constantly reminded of my need for Jesus and the moment-by-moment grace and forgiveness that only he provides.
What if I told you that I am made perfect?
What? How is this possible? Is there a special diet that I must go on or an essential oil that I must utilize? Maybe there is a New York Times bestseller that I need to read? Or, maybe I need to hear it from my favorite TV talk show guru or through my life coach? – Nope, none of that.
Hebrews 10:14 states, “For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.”
Jesus Christ is that single, sacrificial offering. This is not by anything that I have done [e.g. good deeds, going to church, following religious rules, etc.]. All of my attempts to be made perfect fall flat and fail! It’s only by what Jesus Christ has done on the cross that allows all of this to occur.
1 Corinthians 6:11 further reminds us, “…And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”
Sanctified. This is a big churchy word that we usually don’t throw out in everyday conversation. Yet, it is critical that we understand what it means if we are ever to fully grasp who we are [as Christians].
The dictionary defines the word sanctify as: 1) To make holy; set apart as sacred; consecrate. 2) To purify or free from sin.
Holy. Sacred. Pure. Free. = Perfect!
As a Christian, I am declared perfect through Jesus Christ. Yet, the sanctifying [perfecting] work in my life from the Holy Spirit is on-going. Remember, Hebrews 10:14 talks about those “…who are being sanctified.”
All of this means that I am a perfect work-in-progress. I can live with that because I know that one day, God will make all things new for eternity. And that will be, well, perfect!
“Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God.” – 1 Peter 2:16