Perfect imperfection . . . for the past two weeks I have been unable to rid myself of this phrase. I’ve Googled it, read blogs about it, looked up scripture about it, and, yet, it stays with me. What is it? What does it mean? How does it apply to me?
I am a perfectionist. I believe that all things done should be done in order and in a certain way. I believe that if you are going to do something, it’s worth doing right. I have actually been told by employers when being assigned a project, that “B” level work is okay this time just to make sure a project gets completed. I believe, in the words of my beautiful wife of nearly nineteen years who knows me better than I know myself sometimes, “Everything has a place and there is a place for everything.” I am a man of routines and systems. I have a way of doing things and, as shared previously, can get quite frustrated when that way, routine, or system is disrupted. (In fact, I rely on systems so much that it was quite a mental battle for me to not post a blog last weekend because I have established that I post once a week and it must be done on the weekend!) I am a man who takes pride in my character and my respect for others. I truly, honestly strive to treat all others with respect and in the words of Christ, love my neighbor as myself. I make no secret of my faith and my love for God. I have cherished, valued, and lived my life by His Top 10 List! I have a good reputation. Most people like me. I am a good person and try to live my life by the golden rule. All that being said, I am not perfect. In fact, I’m far from it.
I am short-tempered. I am impatient. I don’t want people to see who I really am. I tend to avoid confrontations if at all possible. I’ve lived my life making sure others like me. I struggle with flipping the TV channel if tantalizing, sensational images appear – whether sexual, violent, or obscene – that I know are going to plague me later. I’m judgmental. I may treat you with respect but it may be to just protect my image and reputation while at the same time I’m thinking I’m better than you. When angered, I can yell, become red-faced, and drop obscenities that a preacher’s kid and preacher of the gospel should never be heard saying. With all of that being said, I guess you could say I’m a hypocrite. And to the perfectionist side of me, being a hypocrite is unacceptable.
So . . . perfect imperfection . . . what does it mean? It could mean I’m perfect at being imperfect, or in other words, being human. But that’s not what’s been nagging at me and I don’t believe that’s the meaning I’m supposed to obtain from the phrase. What I haven’t been able to shake is, despite all the imperfections listed above, in the eyes of God, through Jesus, I am made perfect. His death did that for me. If I sin, I’m forgiven. In fact, I’m forgiven for sins I may not have even committed yet. My forgiveness is not based on my act of confession or some ritual I must go through or some amount of merit I’ve built up with my good works. My forgiveness is based solely on the fact that I believe on Him and what He did for me. That is the one and only thing I have to do to receive it is . . . simply believe it.
I have wrestled for years as to why Christ told us in Matthew 5:48, “But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect,” when he was well aware there was no way we could obtain. It’s because he knew his mission and what he came to do. As Hebrews 10:14 says, “For by that one offering he forever made perfect those who are being made holy.”
So, there it is, I am an imperfect human, that God through Jesus has made perfect.
I live in perfect imperfection.