Happy Good Friday! It totally doesn’t feel like Friday to me at all. I’m still all off track from my trip. But I’m glad it’s Friday because that means it’s a day closer to my birthday & Easter!
All week I had been wanting to try some overnight oats again. I made some once before and they turned out really watery and gross. This time, they turned out much better.
Peanut butter cookie dough overnight oats? Yummy!
However, I was a little confused as to how to eat these. I tried them cold, but just couldn’t do it, so I heated them up a little. How do you eat your overnight oats? I can’t be the only one who doesn’t like it cold.
After breakfast, I went for a run because one, my workouts this week have been all out of whack, and two, the weather was amazing. Unfortunately today’s run was not great. I felt really full from breakfast the whole time, sluggish, and like I hadn’t run in forever. Bleh.
Me post run today? Totally not feeling well 🙁
But I feel better now that I’ve had a shower and a ton of water. Anyway! Onto Faith in my Friday!
Reading in Matthew the past few weeks, I stumbled upon a verse that has always confused me. Matthew 5:48 reads, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Being a person who is constantly trying to let go of perfection and gain contentment and joy – this verse has always left me thinking “Huh? I’m supposed to be perfect like God?! How do I do that?!”
Thankfully, this isn’t really what the verse means at all. Lately, any time a verse confuses me or I just want a different outlook on it, I use my Kindle Bible app and look up the verse in a different translation. Usually, if I’m really lost or wanting more clarification, I use The Message translation.
The Message translation completely explodes this verse, making it much longer than the NIV version. The Message version of Matthew 5:48 says:
“In a word, what I am saying is grow up. You’re Kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.”
A world of difference, huh? I love the clarification and simplification that this version brings to an otherwise “confusing” verse. No, I’m not called to “be perfect” by our world’s standards. I am called to “be perfect” in God’s standards. In other words – follow the Lord and His ways because that is the only perfect way.
So, what does the Bible actually say about perfection? Not surprisingly, the Bible actually has a lot to say in regards to perfection. While I could go through a ton of verses, there’s just a few I want to hit on. They all basically sum up to main points that the Bible says about perfection:
1. Nothing in the Bible says that people are or should be perfect.
2. Only Jesus & how he fulfilled the Word, God’s path, God’s love, and God’s works are give the title of perfection in the Bible.
Ecclesiastes 7:20 makes it very clear that people are definitely not perfect.
“Indeed, there is no one on earth who is righteous, no one who does what is right and never sins.”
This verse is so important to acknowledge because our flawed society often feeds us a very different message. But truthfully, no one in the whole world of this earth is perfect. Despite what any advertising of clever persuasion we may begin to believe, no one can attain perfection. Period.
Another verses that ties in with this is Galation 3:2-4. The Message version says:
Let me put this question to you: How did your new life begin? Was it by working your heads off to please God? Or was it by responding to God’s Message to you? Are you going to continue this craziness? For only crazy people would think they could complete by their own efforts what was begun by God. If you weren’t smart enough or strong enough to begin it, how do you suppose you could perfect it? Did you go through this whole painful learning process for nothing? It is not yet a total loss, but it certainly will be if you keep this up!
There’s a lot of info packed in those verses! What I take from it is this: my life is from God and God alone. What He has given me & blessed me with, I did absolutely nothing to establish. I did not create myself or the live I have now. So why in the WORLD why I try and perfect what I did not even create? How can I even be so foolish as to think that I – a mere creation – can start to take on the role of God in my own life?
To me, it all comes down to Jesus & how He is perfect for me – not how I am perfect for Him.
2 Corinthians 12:9 says:
“But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”
Instead of seeking to attain perfection in my own small ways, I can instead seek the One who is perfect and be humble enough to let Him take all the credit & be perfect for me. Jesus has already done the perfect act of love & saved my life. No matter how “weak” I may be, as the verse says, perfection is found is relying on Him in my weakness.
He is risen (on Sunday!) and that is the depth of all perfection, to which I am still understanding. Often, I am tempted to “be perfect” for Jesus – something I can never actually do. Thankfully, what He desires is a deep relationship with me of which only one half is perfect.
Questions for You:
- If you struggle with perfection, how does it make you feel that you don’t have to be perfect?
- What are your plans for Easter Sunday?