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

Don’t Forget to Remember

But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day.
2 Peter 3:8

“What is the price of five sparrows—two copper coins? Yet God does not forget a single one of them. And the very hairs on your head are all numbered. So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.
Luke 12:6-7 

For I will bring them from the north and from the distant corners of the earth. I will not forget the blind and lame, the expectant mothers and women in labor. A great company will return!
Jeremiah 31:8

Moana

I think a strong message of Moana is knowing who you are brings life to you and everyone around you. Your family defines you, but doesn’t MAKE you. But at some point you must leave them behind or you will be stifled and not ‘yourself.’

There will be danger, you will be scared, but you must do some things by yourself. Even if you leave your family for a time, they are an important part of who you are, and you will return to them in way way or other.

Don’t settle for what others say you are. You define yourself. Don’t play along with what your society role is, follow the song inside (which we know is sent by Jesus).
And one day they’ll know, and you’ll know how far you can go.

The music is catchy, fun, and beautiful – which never hurts!

So…there is my review of Moana.

As Larry says, “I laughed; I cried. I was moved, Bob.” It’s funny and entertaining, but I’m crying by the end each time. Maybe because it’s speaking to me so deeply right now.

But I have a better guide than Moana. She had a demigod. I have the God of gods. And HE doesn’t refuse to help us or leave us or abandon us or try to eat our friends.

Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for He has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
So we can confidently say,
“The Lord is my helper; I will not fear;
what can man do to me?”
Hebrews 13:5-6

Save

Save

Save

He is Near

A few Sunday’s past, guest speaker Kyle Asmus spoke on Luke 24:13-35 and how God’s greatness is nothing without His nearness; and His nearness is nothing without His greatness. If you want to hear the message, click here.

Jesus Came NearThat same day two of Jesus’ disciples were going to the village of Emmaus, which was about seven miles from Jerusalem. As they were talking and thinking about what had happened, Jesus came near and started walking along beside them. But they did not know who he was. Luke 24:13-16

Trust

I have been working on a 2014 summary post. As I started sifting through my memories of the year, the good memories piled up so high I became overwhelmed with what I thought the post would look like. As I decide what all and how I will share from last year, I thought it would be a good idea to record my Word of the Year, and why I chose it.

Trust GodTrust. I want to work on trusting God, myself, and others. I have this picture on my desktop to remind me that I do not need to worry or stress out about life things or figure out everything on my own. God is patiently waiting for me to call on Him and trust Him with the details.

GOD
God has made many promises in the Bible, promises that apply to each person who will claim them. While I believe those promises for others, sometimes I have a hard time trusting those same promises for me. This year I will be intentional about trusting God in the big and the small.

MYSELF
I don’t always trust my decisions. I second guess and worry that I made the wrong choice. It is time to start trusting myself to make the best decision I can with the information I have. This would also come under trusting God, because I believe He will guide me if I listen.

OTHERS
I always dissect what people say to me about myself. I will be working this year to trust that my friends are speaking truth to me and accept their compliments.


Today, I read two quotes that blessed me today. The first one help remind me to trust God that He loves me and will keep His promises to me.

“May we learn to accept that there isn’t always a why, a how, or a lesson. But there is always Jesus. And there is always love.” – Emily P. Freeman

“You have not been abandoned or forgotten. God is working, and when you least expect it, in a way that you may hardly even recognize at first, He’s going to fulfill all He promised.” – Holley Gerth on (in)courage

 

{Advent} 10 Ways to be Perfect

One of the (many) blogs I follow is One Hundred Words. Jan writes new stories that are all exactly 100 words. I like reading her blog because all the posts are short’n’sweet and make me think. A story from last week goes with this post, I think. Go read it, then come back to finish reading.

Sometimes Christianity seems like a different country and it seems we are known for what we dislike, rather than what we like. I imagine that the second citizen Christine met also rolled his eyes…

When we forget that loving God first and then others so the Commandments just follow naturally we can hand out lists of ‘Things We Love. Things We Welcome. Things that Make us Dance’ instead of making life all Burdensome Legalities, Rules of Don’t and No Fun.

“And still God’s children didn’t trust him or so what he said. They thought they could do a better job of looking after themselves and making themselves happy. But God knew there was no such thing as happiness without him. So God led them to a tall mountain. God wanted to talk to his people and show them what he was like. He wanted to help them know him better and tell them about the special land he was going to give them.”

God spoke all these words:
I am God, your God,
who brought you out of the land of Egypt,
out of a life of slavery.
No other gods, only me.

_MG_4638Exodus 16-17, 19-40

I am following my friend Amanda’s Advent Stitch-A-Long. You can find instructions for today’s ornament here. Prep instructions by Amanda are here.

The book used for the Advent reading is The Jesus Storybook Bible. You can find more information the book here or buy it on Amazon here.