Monday, September 8, 2014

a note on perfection

For by one sacrifice, He has made perfect forever those who are being made holy, Hebrews 10:14

It's possible "perfect" doesn't mean what we think it means.

Maybe perfect doesn't mean being the most beautiful, talented, intelligent, admired, and esteemed person possible. Apparently, it doesn't mean free from error, because the text says we are being made holy. Perfection is clearly different from holiness here.. The Greek word for perfected is teleioō, and it means to be made complete or fulfilled.The Greek word here for holy is hagiazō,  which means to be purified, to be made free from sin, and to be internally renewed in your soul.

This is the Christian life we are meant to live: Jesus completed us, and now we are supposed to be enjoying our lives, becoming cleaner and purer as we go.

Maybe we put too much pressure on ourselves to perform, huh?

We run on the treadmill of our culture, trying to be everything to everyone, our hearts darkened by our increasing inability to cleanse ourselves with our performance. We buy the lie that we aren’t perfect until we meet the expectations of others, the impossible standard of a photoshopped world, and we attempt a flawless execution of our daily life.

But our hearts know better, and they won’t rest until we get this right.

Then we fall short, let our less-than-holy slip show, and we are left trying to explain how we could have let God and everyone else down like that. We chastise ourselves for needing God’s help, and we forget how low He has made us, how much He has done for us, and how little He has truly asked of us.

Perhaps we are making all of this too complicated

We are complete in Him. The treadmill was never His idea in the first place. Our view of God has been blocked by our own self-obsession, and we have made an idol of who we think we are supposed to be. But we already are who He wants us to be: we are the beloved ones He has fulfilled with His life laid down.  

This week, I hope we fail into grace. I pray we all would feel perfected in Christ, and ridiculously loved for who we are. I am asking God to whisper light-hearted words that lift us above the malaise.

God loves us more than we deserve, and that fact makes him laugh great-big belly laughs that ring like church bells over our lives with joy. 

Life isn't all about earning and doing and deserving. It’s a story of love.

And we are the ones who live happily ever after. May we never forget that, even when life seems less than perfect.

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