Be Perfect!

We live in a world where we constantly hear the shout, “Be Perfect!” If we listen to this long enough, we can soon believe the demands behind it. Striving. Pretending. Hiding. Covering up. Air-brushing. Tweaking. Manipulating. Running rough-shod. Compromising. Without realising it this demand takes over who we are meant to be, affecting family life, schools, businesses, and our daily relationships. Stealing our joy and contentment, it leaves us empty, disillusioned, discouraged, and disappointed. Surely there’s another way.

We read about another “Be perfect”.

But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.
Matthew 5:48

Coming to a place where we call God, Father, means we’ve entered a different Kingdom. A different world. We’re still part of the world around us but there are different standards that drive us. Like Paul we can say that our citizenship is in heaven.

But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for him to return as our Saviour.
Philippians 3:20

The shouts of the world no longer have to dictate the way we think or live. We can tune into the whispers of our Father and find there is a better way that leads to contentment. Fulfilment. Possibilities.

The world shouts “Be Perfect” and leaves us on our own. We learn to strive and to cover up flaws and imperfections. We learn to paper over cracks because that is what is modelled. We portray something that isn’t. Before long people find themselves running after this “thing” that is “Being Perfect” only to find it’s a mirage. Like water in a desert which is never there. We see it, run after it, and find it’s just sand. Sand that runs through our fingers and doesn’t quench our thirst.

The Father whispers “Be Perfect” and then He does the most amazing thing. He gives us the gift of a new identity along with His presence to live out this “Being Perfect” in grace and truth. In the words of Paul:

My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Galatians 2:20

Like Moses, we can know that the Father will personally walk with us as we learn to “Be Perfect as He is Perfect.” (Exodus 33:14)

The Father shows us how. His whispers draw us to a thirst quenching place of intimacy with Him. That place of exchange. That place of dependence. That place of rest. That place of just being with the very One who created us and knows us.

He gently opens our eyes to the daily struggle we face. “Being Perfect” is not what we do, it’s who we know.

The world demands perfection by performing. “Being Perfect” is something you do.

The Father encourages perfection by being in His presence. “Being Perfect” is Someone you know.

The world shouts: “You must do in order to be…”

The Father whispers: “You must be in order to do…”

The world shouts: ” You need to make an impression.”

The Father whispers: “Let me leave my impression on you. Learn from me and you will make more than an impression. You will make a difference influencing those around you.”

The world requires us to cover up and be something that we are not. It requires us to be strong and hard to make it.

The Father encourages us to be vulnerable and to come out of hiding. As we reveal our weaknesses and imperfections,  He covers them with His strength and perfection. We begin to change from the inside out experiencing completeness. We no longer have to paper over the cracks because His very being begins to shine through our cracks. That’s when we find ourselves making a difference in our homes, schools, businesses, and communities.

The most beautiful thing of all. God gets the Glory!

May you always be filled with the fruit of your salvation – the righteous character produced in your life by Jesus Christ – for this will bring much glory and praise to God.
Philippians 1:11