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Working on Perfection

Setting goals and accomplishing them is something I am good at doing and I am impatient in the wait.  It truly cranks my tractor to set a goal and accomplish it.   I’m a perfectionist, which means nothing is truly perfect in my eyes, because it could be done better.  This is sad, but true.  Do you have areas in your life like this?

This weekend we had company in.  We had been looking forward to seeing them and having time together.  I put flowers in different rooms, and set out towels in an attractive way for them.  There was a table full of food for the weekend, events planned as well as time to watch our favorite games.  I did not sit down with them for very long because I wanted to make sure everything was perfect for their time here. I also became exhausted.

This morning I was excited to find in Matthew 5: 48 “Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” NAS

 “How exciting,” I think,  “It is okay to be a perfectionist.”  I began to work in my mind, my plan for having the perfect hair, the perfect words, perfect punctuation, the perfect outfit and house.  I will encourage my family to be perfect. 

I will be just like Mary Poppins, who once said something like, “Mary Poppins, practically perfect in every way.”  I will be a perfect example of Christ.  He did everything perfectly and so can I!

Then everyone will love me, admire me and everyone will want to be my best friend.  At this point my “perfect-self” decided that I needed to perfectly understand the meaning  of my new favorite Bible verse,

 of Matthew 5:48.  So I began to look the words up in the Greek.
Be Perfect: Teleios (5046)  To be adult, full-grown, to fulfill a goal for which you were intended. (Lexical to the New Testament)
A cross reference-Ephesians 5:1-2 “Therefore be imitators of God, as beloved children, and walk in love” NAS
Wait a minute! Perfect means to be mature…in loving others… not making things, or people, look or act perfectly.
To be perfect, or to be mature is to love like Christ loves, with forgiveness, with grace and mercy. It is to smile at little things that are not like we thing they should be.  They are little things!  We need to focus more on being relational rather than perfectionist.
Sometimes I get so wrapped up in my own goals, that I can believe they are God’s goals. As a tractor plows a field, there are times when achieving the goals and plowing full speed ahead, can leave people (or relationships) dead in our neatly tilled rows.
Throughout the New Testament we read Jesus’ words calling people to love.  Love.   God is Love.  To be like God is to love with a powerful love.
To be perfect is to love like Christ, who is the manifestation of the love of God.  Christ obeyed God, all the way to death.  In that He showed the perfection of love. 
1 John 2:5 “but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected.”

My goal today is to slow down, speak life into the lives of others, smile, laugh, play and love.
How are you being made perfect?  How are you showing the Love of Christ?

Posted by Diane W. Bailey on October 17, 2011
6 Comments Post a comment
  1. 10/17/2011

    So much wisdom here, Diane — especially for this fellow perfectionist. I love how you dug deeply and discovered the true message within these verses.

  2. 10/17/2011

    Thank you Michelle!

  3. 10/19/2011

    "My goal today is to slow down, speak life into the lives of others, smile, laugh, play and love." Well said, Diane! A great goal to have every day. My question for you, too, is this: where does that drive to improve and perfect give you life? It's there for a reason, you know. Where is it a bucket-filler for you or others?And thank you for the book! I just got it today and I can't wait to sit down and read :)>

  4. 10/20/2011

    Oh perfectionism, our need to control because we really have none. Loved your honesty here and the way you got revelation.

  5. 10/21/2011

    Thanks for the reminder about what it really means to be perfect. Your examples hit home.

  6. 10/23/2011

    I never saw that verse before, and defnitely not in that light. Very good insight Diane! Thanks!


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