There are quite a lot that inspired this post and I’d expatiate on them as you follow through.
Please take time to read through carefully.
From my childhood days to when I became born again at 15 up till this present time, I’ve heard lots of wrong ideas and opinions on perfection some of which I believed myself especially as it relates to how we should live as Christians.
As I understood better, I came to the conclusion that I’d rather be Christ-centred than be a perfectionist (it only exists in people’s heads lol). I realised that a lot of my perfectionist thinking only exposed my need for or rather my need for knowledge of God’s provision of love and righteousness by faith!
I personally love getting things done in good time especially when I decide to and of course without making mistakes.
I was the genius type, still am tho😉😋 and I grew up having to meet lots of expectations. Everyone can relate abeg lol especially for us who grew up with religious Christians!
That said, I used to be one who never wanted to make a mistake in my Christian walk(which is good) but I realized that my ability to avoid mistakes is nothing compared to God’s ability to keep me. I scarcely admitted it when I was wrong because I thought “I’m meant to do this right. In my own eyes this is correct”. I also felt bad when I wasn’t and that left me more inadequate and demanding more from myself.
I wanted to be perfect but the more I tried to be the more frailties I saw in myself. On social media, there were times I was quick to respond to issues whether I was affected or not. I never really insulted anyone but I won’t be satisfied if my point wasn’t accepted. This can lead to seeking approval from others.
Even in the real world, I had this near perfectionist thinking. The truth is I realised I was ‘scared’ of being found out that I didn’t know it all(does anyone? Lol). That can be dangerous!
Life becomes ‘easy’ when you can admit that you don’t have everything figured out and life isn’t perfect or rather God doesn’t require you to be perfect! Yes!
One idea some have is that God wants us to be perfect in our own strength so He can constantly approve of them. It might not seem obvious but usually it is implied indirectly even when they mean well.
Another truth is we’re not given requirements but fulfilments(in Christ) which enables us do what is right.
You might also ask “Didn’t the Bible tell us to be perfect like our Heavenly Father?”
Ehrm… Scratching my head. “No?! 😱” My exact reaction when I found out as well. You got that right! So what is the real deal then? What does the Bible say? What is right?
Well, let’s see the chapters where that appears in Matthew 5 and Luke 6
But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so?
Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.
But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.
Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful.
The above verses are quite clear what Jesus was saying from the preceding verses. Perfect simply means mature or to be complete (to grow).
The MSG and Amplified version clarify this a lot better…
“In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.”
Matthew 5:48 MSG
You, therefore, will be perfect [growing into spiritual maturity both in mind and character, actively integrating godly values into your daily life], as your heavenly Father is perfect.
MATTHEW 5:48 AMP
It means live out who you are in Christ, your God-given nature is compassionate and loving! The one who’s born again! God’s kind of love should be reflected in you and you should actively love others like God loves us. Not just in their good times but at their worse behaviours as well.
There’s no such thing as human perfection, it’s all in people’s mind. Yes! But there’s such thing as growth i.e maturity. This is the expectation Christ has of us; that we grow in Grace(in the knowledge of Christ). Jesus wouldn’t have died if we still had to be ‘mistake-free’ to receive His offer or relate with Him.
That’s why God gave you His righteousness and declared you righteous. It is what qualifies you.
Rev’d Chris Onayinka made a statement which is so accurate with the Word:
“The Bible prescription for sin is not sinlessness but righteousness”.
It is what empowers you to live for Him!
I’ve learnt to differentiate truth from my personal sentiments. Sentiments aren’t always the truth! Embracing truth might sometimes mean heeding an obviously better advice from someone or an opinion which will take looking beyond ourselves but to Christ. Sadly perfectionism is another form of self-sufficiency. It’s always saying I am self sufficient, I got this covered, I don’t need your help even when it’s obvious you are wrong. It’d take admitting wrong to embrace truth. The truth that as Christians being Christcentred means resting in His love and loving other like He loved us!