Perfection vs. Imperfection

Who says stinging nettle isn’t perfect and doesn’t do exactly what God created it to do? Just because it’s uncomfortable doesn’t make it bad.

(Although…I will always avoid it!) So what makes something perfect?

the PERFECT day
the PERFECT spouse/relationship
the PERFECT job

Perfect – having all required and desirable elements, qualities, characteristics; as good as it’s possible to be. Absolute; complete.
Perfection – condition, state, quality of being free or as free as possible from all flaws or defects.
Webster’s Dictionary

Why do we care so much about being perfect, having perfection?
So much so that the word no longer is used the way it was defined by Aristotle (384-322), and also the English dictionary!

Perfect is that which is complete; so good it cannot be improved; it has attained its purpose. – Aristotle

Centuries later, Lucilio Vanini (1585 – 1619) believed that perfection depends on being incomplete and possessing the potential for development. Perfection in a work of art consists in its forcing the recipient to be active – to complete the work of art by an effort of mind and imagination. Hello, paradox.

Perfect comes from the Latin word perficio (to bring to an end), and before that came the Greek word teleos.

So, we are left trying to fit into this modern mold of PERFECT which leaves us worn out, depressed, and embittered by running a rat race that can never be won. We will never measure up to anyone’s idea of ‘perfection’ – so will always be on a sinking ship.

Who gets to define what is and what is not perfect, anyway?

Imperfections are seen as flaws, cracks that mar a perfect life making a person feel less than – or too much even. A perceived lack in ‘I should be’ versus the wholeness of ‘I was created by the Ultimate Creator’.

But what if?

Imperfection is a life apart from God – and a separation from others. Imperfection is hiding our cracks, thus leaving others in bondage to perfection. Let there be hope! Even with all of our flaws, when we have faith in Christ we are seen as perfect in God’s eyes. Like kintsugi, we need to show those cracks and imperfections as part of our story, which will in turn give others freedom to show their own cracks and imperfections.

kintsugi is a philosophy which treats breakage and repair as part of the history of an object, rather than something to disguise.

Perhaps the beauty of nature is that it isn’t perfect. God created and called everything ‘good’ – it was complete and met God’s approval*. When Adam and Eve ate that apple, sin entered life and the need for improvement also entered. The world was no longer perfect.

And so, as the paradox goes, imperfect becomes perfect because it draws us in to a relationship that allows us to create along with God as he redeems the imperfect and makes it perfect by HIS perfectness.

There are imperfections in each perfect day, and perfect moments in each in perfect day. How we choose to look at each will determine how our day ends.

What does the Bible say about perfection? Here are a few of my favorite verses!

How foolish can you be? After starting your new lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort?
Galatians 3:3

Is it any advantage to the Almighty if you are righteous? Would it be any gain to him if you were perfect?
Job 22:3

God’s way is perfect. All the Lord’s promises prove true. He is a shield for all who look to him for protection. God is my strong fortress, and he makes my way perfect.
2 Samuel 22:31, 33

Even perfection has its limits, but your commands have no limit.
Psalm 119:96

As we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his perfect love.
1 John 4:17-18

For the law never made anything perfect. But now we have confidence in a better hope, through which we draw near to God.
Hebrews 7:19

What are your thoughts on perfect vs. imperfect? Is there a Bible verse or two not listed that you like?

* Nate Pruitt, Creative in God’s Image

{Springbrook} Paths

One day while ambling through Springbrook I was reminded how life was like the paths there. Some are straight and narrow, some are relatively smooth walking. Most, though, are uneven and dirty, and can be uncomfortable if you’re not prepared.

And to take it a step further…I believe that as at Springbrook, while you can choose to stay on the easy paths and kinda skate through life, but you will miss out on the growth that comes with the rough paths. There are extra special beautiful things to see and experience if you leave the smooth path – should you choose to look for them.

It’s all a choice. Sometimes one to make every minute but always daily.