When we see or hear about Jesus’ words, “Be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect”, we think “oh dear God, I am too broken – I am hopeless”. We miss it. God is not calling us to be flawless or the people in the movies. Jesus wants us to be perfect, but not as the world sees perfection. In Jesus’ day, something was perfect when it perfectly lived out its purpose. The word Jesus uses, Teleios in the Greek language, meant “full grown”. Something was perfect, when its purpose is carried out. So to be perfect, we need to accept that we will be messy. It is just about allowing God to carry out our purpose for His glory. By His Holy Spirit, we can be perfect. God wants willing vessels, not inhuman models. Will we seek to live out His purpose for us this year? Take heart: We are where we need to be, to be perfect.
What kind of perfection are we pursuing? The perfect church is clothed in compassion, not outward beauty. Compassion is what we want to see. It’s messy, unstructured, but it is what Jesus wants for us to make that our standard – it is what He did and continues to do. Compassion is an aroma that draws others close to the heart of God – it comes only from God. Compassion: it is the way of God! It’s the outfit we need to put on. We must pray for God to give us His garment of love that only He can give. He woves His characteristics into our spirits, as we become His people and continue to ask. It won’t be clean. It will be messy. Take a look at the cross: All Jesus endured. It was messy and horrifying to say the least, but God clothed Him in His royal robe even while enduring such scorn.
Patience means something. It is holding on just long enough for the miracle of God to take place. To seek God’s definition of perfect, it’s messy. But, we can fulfill the purpose for which we were created – that is the power of God!
Prayer: “Thank You God, I don’t have to even try to be perfect by this world’s standards. You have lifted a great burden from our shoulders. Lord, please clothe us with Your garment of compassion. Help me to love others in Your name. I ask this in Jesus’ name, Amen!”
See Philippians 2:3; 2 Peter 3:15