Many years ago I worked for a female executive who was as beautiful as she was bright. She was not only well educated but she was wise (she knew how to use the knowledge she had). I would also rank her as my most encouraging boss. She often used the term, “Perfect!” upon reviewing my completed projects. Then as quickly as I would accept her word of praise a familiar voice rang out within me reminding me that I was a fabulous fake, an imposter of perfection and no matter how hard I tried to achieve it, I would not, could not, ever accomplish perfection in my work or within myself!
Perhaps like me, you have a “perfectionist” within you who strives to obtain something that is without flaw or blemish of any kind. Our deformed desire for perfection only leads us to find disappointment, discontentment, and discouragement. Many of us pursue perfection in ourselves (perfect hair, perfect body, perfect smile) and we often expect perfection in others (perfect mate, perfect job, perfect church). Even as we aim for perfection, we discover it’s a moving target! (George Fisher). That stinks!
But I thought the Bible teaches Christians to strive for perfection… Let’s look at what the Bible says in 2 Corinthians 13:11. The Apostle Paul closes this powerful letter to the Corinthians where he calls them to stand firm in their faith by trusting the one and true Christ Jesus by writing, “…Aim for perfection, listen to my appeal, be of one mind, live in peace…” (NIV). The word “perfection” (from the Greek word KATARTIZO) means “to complete thoroughly, to repair…or adjust” (Strong’s Concordance). Can we as imperfect beings complete ourselves? We cannot! Only Christ, the Perfect One, can make us complete, repair us from the inside out, and transform us to be more like Him.
So relax! We no longer have to be perfect (as in without flaws) – we need to become perfect (complete) by maturing in Christ! In other words, we just need to GROW UP as we grow in the grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ!
“For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.” 2 Corinthians 5:21