Hold on. This one gets heavy (in a good way).
(A shout-out to my aunt Mechelle who inspired me to write this post by posting on my Facebook Timeline. She posted an image that had the following text, from carolwimmer.com : When I say,”I’m a Christian,” I’m not claiming to be perfect; My flaws are all too visible; But God believes I’m worth it.)
It might be easy to think to think that you’re perfect. It’s easy, at least for me, to get caught up in the things that others do wrong and be smug of the knowledge that I do them correctly. I’m not sure it’s so bad to know your strengths and be aware of the areas where you don’t struggle, but I think it quickly can become a sort of spiritual blindness to our own imperfections. When we are blind to our own weaknesses, we cannot grow to be more like God. We are not striving to be like Him if we choose to ignore our own faults while noticing those of others. We find this in Scripture: “Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye?” (Matthew 7:3). Here, Matthew is making a hyperbole, but there’s a decent point behind it: if we have our own big problems, are we really in a place to pick apart the minute details of another’s sins? (This doesn’t mean you should never rebuke your brother, for there are certainly times for that (Matthew 18:15-17)! The point here is not to be overly critical of others, when you are also imperfect)
With all that being said, I think it is also all to easy to say things like,”I know I’m going to fall short of perfect, so why bother even trying to be?” This is most certainly the wrong attitude to have too! Again, Matthew tells us,”You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect,” (5:48). We are called to strive for perfection. And not merely earthly perfection, but the perfection of our heavenly Father! God! God wants us to work toward being like Him. However, it’s important to know that if we don’t make it to being quite that perfect (like, well, all of us) that is acceptable! God came to make up for those sins that we commit, even when we still have to figure out how not to commit them over some time. But the point is that we have to try to remove sins from our life and work toward becoming like the Father. We were made in His image and likeness (Genesis 1:26), so we should work as best we can to attain his image and likeness, out of reverence to his Divine intentions.
So it’s neither thinking that you’re already perfect enough, nor is it thinking that perfection is entirely unattainable. It’s striking that balance in between of knowing that you’re not perfect and knowing that you’re supposed to try to be. So try to be. And help others to do the same.
I love this song. I think it speaks to some of the themes in this post. Let’s pray that we can Shelter [His] Name through our actions and our striving toward perfection: