Imperfection. What comes to mind when you think of that word? I must admit there is imperfection in our world. Computers that aren’t compatible with upgraded programs. Potholes that cause flat tires. The absence of fireflies in Colorado.
Perfection and imperfection. I believe we can look at these words through Scripture and find God’s view on them. So let’s do that. Let’s see what He has to say about perfection and imperfection.
We know from the Old Testament that the Hebrew nation was to provide sacrifices without blemish. They weren’t to have imperfections. (Leviticus 22:21; Numbers 19:2)
We are imperfect. If you read through all of the lists of sins we are to get rid of, you and I both know that we haven’t achieved that task yet. You’ve seen the lists. Galatians 5:19-22; Ephesians 4:22-31; Ephesians 5:3-4; Colossians 3:5-10; 2 Timothy 3:1-7; and 1 Peter 2:1. Unfortunately, some of those sins are still in my life. I am imperfect.
Paul’s final words to in 2 Corinthians 13:11 (NIV) were, “Finally, brothers, good-by. Aim for perfection, listen to my appeal, be of one mind, live in peace. And the God of love and peace will be with you.” Aim for perfection. Now that I think I can do.
Yes, we are to rid ourselves of the sins listed above, but we also have lists to show us how we are to live. Galatians 5:22-23; Galatians 6:2; Ephesians 4:23-24; 32-5:2; Philippians 2:14-16; Philippians 4:4-8; Colossians 3:12-17; Colossians 4:2; 1 Peter 1:13-16; 1 Peter 2:4-5; 1 Peter 2:12; 1 Peter 2:17; 1 Peter 4:8-11; 1 John 1:7; Jude 1:20-23.
“Aim for perfection.” Other versions of the Bible have translated this phrase a little differently. Maybe we can gain some insight from them.
“Keep things in good repair.” (The Message)
“…be made complete…” (New American Standard)
“Try to be complete.” (New Century Version)
“Aim for restoration.” (English Standard Version)
I love the ESV translation. “Aim for restoration.” It seems to help me understand that it is a work in progress. That it is a time-consuming project. Maybe even that it is a never-ending task. I must continue to work at living the way God wants me to live, because I know that it is only through Him that I am perfect.
I believe that as we remove a sin from our life, we must replace that void with something. Something good. Remove something from the imperfection list and replace it with something from the perfection list.
I also believe that I cannot do this without God and His Holy Spirit working in my life. My sinful nature is too strong for me to battle on my own. And God has given me the perfect tools to go into battle. Ephesians 6:10-18 tells us of the armor we are to take up and use. God’s armor.
Let’s strive today to live as godly men and women. Let’s utilize the tools (God’s armor and His Holy Spirit) as we head into battle. Let’s aim for perfection. Aim for restoration. Let others see Jesus through you that “…they may see your good deeds and glorify God…” (1 Peter 2:12 – NIV)
Grace and peace be yours in abundance,