Monday, September 5, 2011

YGITS: Absolute Perfection

                The “god of 100%” is one that is a danger to the spiritual lives of many Christians. What makes talking about this particular destructive view of God difficult is that it seems plausible. Since God is perfection, and since He asks for our complete loyalty, then we can best serve Him by setting up standards of perfection and seeing to it that we obey them. This brings about two main problems. This first is that it causes those who do not have the imagination or experience to imagine what a true 100% looks like be satisfied before they should be. These see 100% as being “doing the best I know how.”  The problem lies in the fact that “doing the best I can,” and true 100% obedience are two very different things. The second problem occurs when this group imposes the 100% philosophy on those who do have the imagination and experience to imagine what a true 100% looks like.

                It is a terrifying experience to have 100% imposed on this second group and believe it. To believe that we must be perfect before God will have any dealings with us goes against exactly what the Bible teaches over and over; that God deals with imperfect people with love and patience, guiding them and helping them and forgiving them even in the middle of their mistakes. Christ commanded “learn of Me," (Matt. 11:29). Learning necessarily involves making mistakes and correcting them. It is a process. Even Paul stated, after so many years of being a powerful apostle of Jesus:

“I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me,” (Php. 3:10-12).

                It is certainly our goal to be God’s more fully and conformed to the image of Christ. But it is a process, a journey. We don’t come out of the waters of baptism and never make a mistake again. If 100% perfection were what we were measured against, then Christ and He alone would have made it. Thankfully, He gave Himself for us that we might be continually cleansed in His blood, causing God to see us as perfect even when we are not.

                So don’t fear the fact that you don’t measure up to 100%! We have been washed in the blood. We are called to give our best for God because Jesus has saved us, not so He will. The hard part has already been done for us, it is now our turn to give back all we can to Him.