November 14, 2012

Imperfect Perfection

Written by Boyd Bailey

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today- November 14, 2012

“Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Matthew 5:48

Does God expect His children to set a goal that is unattainable? Yes, when the motivation is to grow in grace and in the likeness of His son Jesus. The Holy Spirit instructs Christians in heavenly ideals, so their life has earthly appeal. Imperfection seeks perfection, so there can be continual progress in Christ’s character development of His fallible followers. The goal of perfection grows us in His divine attributes that are refined over time.

So we seek a humble discipline and in the process obtain the greater graces of God. Like a world-class athlete sets a standard of perfection in their personal training, so we press toward the holiness of God as our ultimate outcome. When we fall off the balance beam of life, we get up and get back on. In our zeal for God we can be guilty of false starts, but we line back up and refocus on the real race. We keep our eyes on the prize: Jesus Christ the author and finisher of our faith.

“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.” Philippians 3:12

Perfectionism in and of itself is not the goal, for then we invite frustration and a feeling of failure. Perfectionism pushes out faith and works, and replaces it with fearful procrastination. Are you stuck in a need for everything to be perfect before your next step? If so, shed paralysis from analysis and move forward by faith. You can trust the Lord to fill in the imperfect gaps with His perfect grace. Indeed, out of your intimacy with Jesus you can embrace His ideals.

Furthermore, as you grow in knowing God through His word, prayer, and serving others, you will understand and emulate His heart. You want to be like the one you love and know the best. No, you will not become sinless in this life, but you can become more like the Sinless One—Jesus. In Christ you are perfect in your heavenly Father’s eyes!

“But he said to me, “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

Prayer: Heavenly Father, grow me into the perfect image of Your son Jesus Christ.

Related Readings: Leviticus 19:2; Isaiah 26:3; Philippians 3:13-14; 1 Peter 1:15-16

Post/Tweet this today: The Holy Spirit instructs Christians in heavenly ideals, so their life has earthly appeal. #ideals

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  1. steve harkins says:

    As I understand it. The word translated ‘perfect’ is a nautical term that means tacking. It is allowing the wind to take us in the direction of a destination but seldom in a straight line. And each journey will look different depending on the wind at the time, which of course can change at any time. If we stray off course to far we need to look at the destination and recalibrate and let the wind of the Spirit head us back in the right direction.

  2. Boyd says:

    Steve, I love this word picture thanks for sharing. Yes the Spirit filling the sails of our faith!

    A fellow servant of Jesus,


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