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March 26, 2014

4

Aiming for Perfection

by Dave Malnes

“Strive for perfection. Settle for excellence.”

When Chris Peterson, the new head football coach for the Washington Huskies, addressed the team for the first time he set forth a pattern of thinking that will be his plan for success. It is the same model he used while building the Boise State Broncos into a nationally-ranked football program.

If the Apostle Paul were a college football coach, he may have signed on to Peterson’s approach.

“Aim for perfection, listen to my appeal, be of one mind, live in peace.” (2 Cor 13:11)

The Corinthian church was struggling. If it were a football team, they would have a losing record. Strife and sin were causing the church to lose its saltiness and Paul wanted to change that.

He first needed to remind them who they are in Christ. By faith alone, they are co-heirs with Christ. They receive all the benefits of being God’s children and the rich inheritance associated with that status. Now, Paul says, act like God’s children.iStock_000027630618Large

“Aim for perfection.”

A soul perfected in Christ should not be timid to strive for goals that are associated with their status.

Aiming for perfection is not about improving one’s status, but exercising it.

The world presents us with competing standards for perfection. The entertainment industry thrives on sending messages of perfection and there are thousands of companies profiting from this message. “Aiming for Perfection”

Psychologists tackle the perfection persona in today’s world by studying the direction people are running towards to find clues about what they are running from. Striving for Perfection

“The good life is a process, not a state of being. It is a direction, not a destination.” Carl Rogers

Process and direction are the world’s answer to the nagging problem of living up to the world’s standards that celebrates perfection. Like a desert mirage, the world’s standard is always off in the distance, never attainable, and can quickly dissipate under the hot burning sun of reality.

Is perfection really God’s standard?

When Moses appeared before the burning bush, God mandated sandals. To be in His presence requires holiness. His justice demands perfection. For those who apply the philosophies of the world (that life is a process not a state of being) to meet the standards for heaven belittles God and His Word. In fact, its offensive. Like trash thrown into a garbage bin, God tosses good works out if they were meant to receive His mercy or approval.

Nobody is perfect — and God knows that. If eternal residence with God in heaven requires perfection, then only God can provide the solution.

Faith alone meets God’s standards. It is the only solution for its a total reliance on God. By trusting in Christ’s work on the cross over His victory over death and sin, we are perfect. We meet God’s standard.

Aim for perfection!

And why not?

We are created in God’s image. We are designed with perfection in mind. Our status is perfection because that’s how God sees us.

God knows us more than anyone. And he loves us more than anyone. Perhaps viewing ourselves through God’s eyes ought to be our focus.

Perfection is our state of being and our destination is secure. So why not exercise it.

 

4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Mar 28 2014

    Hmm. Food for thought. Paul also professed himself the chief of sinners. We live in the twilight between the Already (saved, perfected) and Not Yet (fully there, Heaven yet to come, Glory fully to be revealed).

    And the gospel IS that we fall short. Which is why God is so great. Both God and man cannot be great at the same time.

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    • Mar 28 2014

      Paul proclaimed himself as chief of sinners — that was his state. At the same time, he knew he was justified by faith meaning that his status was full righteousness before God. In God’s eyes, we are “great” because He looks at Christ (status) instead of ourselves (state). That’s what makes grace so amazing. Thanks for the comment.

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      • Mar 28 2014

        I absolutely agree. With every word. It is this legal standing before Him and only that which will allow us to move forward in our striving for excellence. With liberation and joy.

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      • Mar 28 2014

        Thank you. With the status of already being perfect, we have joy and peace while aiming for perfection.

        Like

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