Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. Mat. 5:48
This verse tormented me for years. Perfect? Not possible, not for me, but believe me, I tried.
|Perfection takes a lot of work|
The first church I belonged to demanded this of me. Still, no matter how much effort I put into being perfect, I never fit their mold. If I showed my emotions--I was too histrionic. Controlling my feelings made me cold. Questioning a doctrine categorized me as not having faith, but following things blindly tormented my conscience.
I would read verses like Matthew 5:48, or 1 Peter 1:16, and strive more and more to be as holy as God.
The verse found in Mt. 11: 30 stating our burden was light, the yoke easy further condemned me. I found no peace in perfectionism. The burden was too hard for me to bear.
Then I discovered I did not have to be perfect. I did not have to conform to someone's notion of a Christian woman. I just had to be me.
|Not my our works|
I discovered the scandal of grace.
We cannot be perfect. It's not by our works of righteousness that grant us heaven, that give us serenity on earth. It's Jesus Christ.
The point of Matthew 5: 48, my tormenting scripture, is that perfection is not a human potential. Only one being ever attained God's perfection: God Himself in the form of Jesus. Ergo--Impossible for humans.
|Holiness is not ours. It's His.|
And the New American Standard Version of 1 Peter 1:16 says "You shall be holy; for I am holy." (emphasis mine).
And that emphasis holds the key. We are not perfect on our own--only in Jesus. You shall be because...
Of course, as we follow Jesus, we
"shall be holy" more and more as we abide in him. However, when we die, He's not going to point out how we failed. He's going to say to us, "Well done good and faithful servant. Enter into the joy of your Lord."
Have you struggled with the weight of perfectionism? What has it done to you? Do you want to be set free? How does that happen or how have you conquered it?
Come join me as we discover how much we're loved.