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Archive for November 20th, 2016

perfect

I deeply desire authenticity in my life.

I want to be ‘real’ in how I live, with the hope that no one will ever think that I’ve got it all together … because I don’t, and I have no expectation that I ever will, this side of heaven.

That said, I sometimes hear my kids say things that make me realize that what they have ‘heard’ from myself and their dad (and the Christian community around them) is that they need to be perfect.

Though, this was never the intended message, somehow, this seems to be what they have heard or understood.

I think that we humans tend to look at ourselves as never reaching the mark. We often think that perfection is the ultimate goal, and if we are not perfect, we are not useful or successful.

Sometimes this pursuit of perfection even keeps us from the very means to our success in life.

A few years ago I heard of a response concerning baptism that saddened and troubled me, to this day.

When asked, “have you considered going through baptism” (the outward, public declaration/confirmation of faith that many practise as followers of Christ)? The teen replied, “maybe in a year or so. I don’t really feel like I’ve got it together enough yet.”

I wonder, what does this teen understand to mean having it together? Do they think that to say, publicly, “I follow Christ” is to say, I’ve got it all together? Are they afraid that they will be considered hypocrites if they make that public statement, then do something wrong?

Here’s the reality,

we all do wrong things, have wrong thoughts, make wrong statements,

in short, we all blow it!

Recently, I was part of a conversation in which numerous imperfections and misinterpretations of the Bible by Christians were discussed. It was a heavy and dark discussion. I went home with a heavy heart. In the morning I awoke with a message on my heart:

Who are you going to follow?  Me, or my people? My people are still in process, they have not ‘arrived’  yet. Take your eyes off of them, and follow me.”

To follow Christ, to be baptized or confirmed, does not require having achieved perfection, or having life figured out.

On the contrary, to follow Christ is to accept the fact that we have not arrived, we have not achieved any measure of good, apart from Christ in us.

They following is a portion of a reading shared in a staff devotions time at work. I think it speaks well to this topic of perfection in life, but especially in the Christian church:

“You have some in your churches who are looking for the perfect church. The perfect church does not exist. Never has. There will be no perfect church until you get home. In the meantime, I call you to learn to love one another in your imperfection. I love you in your imperfection and call you to learn to love each other as I love you. You are all people in process: cut one another some slack. On the wall of a restaurant is a sign that reads, “Food cannot not made at microwave speed.” Neither can disciples. Learn to love one another in your imperfection.”
Composed by Darrell Johnson

 

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