As a child, I would cry when my ruffled dress socks would roll down my legs as I walked. Well, at least that’s what my mother told me. I guess I was annoyed by the uneven and slightly messy look it gave me. Not to mention it threw my whole outfit off. I apparently wanted it to look, you know, PERFECT. It’s funny because at a young age I knew that there was no room for flaws, defects or mistakes.
I believe most of us want everything to be just right. Everything should just fall right into place without any problems at all. It’s just supposed to be perfect and anything less than perfect is a disappointment. No one wants to feel as though they’ve failed at what they are trying to accomplish.
We want our families to be picture perfect. Oh yes! That’s right, the spouse too. That is a must! Our events, parties, weddings, children, and the list can go on, and on…we want it all with no issues, or shortcomings. Right?
What if I told you that your whole idea of “being perfect!” is completely wrong? How would it feel to know that being perfect has nothing to do with having defects, or being flawless? What if I told you it had everything to do with simply living life to the best of your abilities?
I’ve often wondered why our Creator would tell us to be perfect as He is perfect. Like, why would He tell us to do something that we totally can’t attain? It would amount to an unrealistic standard that seems impossible to reach. It’s obvious we make mistakes all the time. So why is it written in Scripture that we are to be perfect?
I’ve struggled with this myself. I’d always try to do the right thing so that I wouldn’t reap the consequences of making the wrong choice. It even progressed to the point where making a simple mistake stressed me out.
I remember a time in school when I had to get a paper signed by a parent in order to receive credit for completed work. Unfortunately, I forgot to get it signed, and ended up forging my father’s signature. Some may say, “Adrian, that’s not so bad.” Well, it was a big deal for me, and I felt bad after I signed that paper on my father’s behalf.
Still today there are moments when I find that I’m being hard on myself. For instance, if I miss a deadline, or if a client doesn’t agree with the concept I provide. It can be challenging to accept that I made a mistake. I find this scripture to be helpful:
“You, therefore, must be perfect (growing into complete maturity of godliness in mind and character, having reached the proper height of virtue and integrity) as your heavenly father is perfect (Matthew 5:48).”
Oh wow! It’s good to know that there’s a clear meaning. So, God’s definition of perfect is completely different then what we have in mind. In other words, it doesn’t mean that we won’t mess up. He knows that we are human. He’s telling us to grow into maturity just as he is mature. It’s a growth process. We must take responsibility to grow to maturity, and practice becoming more and more like Him.
Growth includes making mistakes, dealing with disappointments, and challenges. Growing in Christ is what our Father requires. This is healing. We don’t have to continue living with the unnecessary pressure of “being perfect” wrongly defined.