“Perfection is illusive” … But aim for it anyway!

PerfectionMy wife watches out for me… especially for my grooming and public appearance.  It is not uncommon for me to react just a little to her “eagle eye” (but the truth is, what she does is in my best interest!)… Hey, it comes with a good marriage and a loving spouse!  But I admit, I sometimes joke a bit with her about her careful attention to detail on my behalf and tell her, “Com’on honey, perfection is illusive!”

Well, “perfection” (albeit illusive) is what Apostle Paul appealed for and urged Christ followers in Corinth to pursue… He said, “Finally… aim for perfection!” (II Corinthians 13:11 NIV)

According to the Bible, “sinless perfection” is illusive!  Just read I John 1:8-10!  That is why it is so important for us to acknowledge (“confess”) our sin and seek Christ’s forgiveness!  But “perfection” has another very important Biblical connotation!  In the Greek language the word translated “perfect” is a developmental term – it has to do with proper growth and maturation.  It signifies being and becoming all that one should be at a particular stage of development spiritually, emotionally, socially, and physically… especially spiritually.  Put another way, believers with a chronological age of 50 years “in Christ” should not behave like spiritual “babes” – and brand new “baby Christians” should not be expected to exhibit the spiritual maturity of spiritual “elders.”

Hey, if you want great and enriching word study in the Bible, check out the word “perfect” in its various forms in the Bible and the contexts in which it is used, keeping in mind Apostle Paul urged believers to “aim for perfection!”  Here’s just two contexts for your consideration…

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.  All of us who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you.  Only let us live up to what we have already attained.  (Philippians 3:12–16 NIV)

Consider it pure joy whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance.  Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”  (James 1:2–4 NIV)

And how about this one?  His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.  For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love.  For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.  (2 Peter 1:3–8 NIV)

So there it is… “Aim for perfection!”  And with God’s help and the Holy Spirit working within me, that is what I intend to do!  Oh, I know it’s “illusive” – But according to the Bible “It is God who works within you both to will and to work for His good pleasure!” (Philippians 2:13)

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