I was born and raised in the COGIC.Inc. It was a regular thing to hear various ones say, “God wants us to be perfect, “we have to strive for perfection,” “Bible say’ be perfect!” The sad thing is that their actions often didn’t match the words coming out of their mouths. I was left confused and with a wrong view of God.
Watching how these religious individuals treated their spouses, children and other saints left me baffled. If you are perfect, or supposed to be “striving for perfection,” then how can you treat people that way? How can you be full of pride, which God hates, if you are perfect or striving for perfection? In your “striving”, with all its fasting, prayer, and Bible reading…you are not able to have a better attitude towards people? These are the questions I had while watching these people. I questioned if there was really anything to Bible reading and prayer at all. To my young mind their actions totally discounted anything they had ever said or taught in church. Now that I am older, able to look back in contemplation, I see there was an error in the view of perfection held by these well-meaning, though errant, church goers.
Individuals like this literally see themselves as perfect. These are the ones quick to top the soapbox whenever they hear a believer say that we all sin. Because they believe themselves to be perfect, they are unable to acknowledge that they do not walk in perfection every moment of their existence. They are unable to be honest with themselves and realize their flesh still wants and has (in some cases) the upper hand. They ignore Paul’s discussion about beating one’s body and bringing it into submission. If, after salvation, one is automatically perfect, what need is there to truly examine oneself? What need is there to beat one’s body into subjection? This is a highly dangerous view of perfection.
I recall one person in particular who, while repeatedly expounding on the walk of the perfect, had serious character flaws left unchecked. Beaming in the midst of their words were false pride, stubbornness, inability to cooperate, inability to hear, and nice-nasty ways. If they had a correct view of perfection then, instead of believing themselves to have already obtained, they might have been able to successfully grow in perfection.
The perfecting truth we must understand is that we won’t reach true perfection until we get to heaven. However, we can live a life complete in Christ. In order to make it where God is we must endeavor to love, think, talk, and walk like Christ; the only Perfect One worthy of imitation. This means that we;
- Have a heart’s desire to really be like Christ in everything we say, think, and do!
- Constantly examine ourselves – our thoughts, words, and actions; How do we treat people? How do we talk? Are we gracious and compassionate towards others? Do we love others more than ourselves? Are we self-centered and foolish?
- Always ask God to reveal anything in us that is not like Christ, and then GET RID OF IT! – It is GOD we are to please, and He is the best one to reveal the things we miss or fail to
- Sincerely ask the Lord to develop perfection in us – We must be willing to obey, no matter the cost.
- Realize that, while in this fleshly body, we will make mistakes, but we are NOT to live a life of sin. There is a huge difference between a mistake and willful sin!
- Acknowledge when we make an error: we can’t allow ourselves to become lifted up in pride and self-righteousness; we must admit we are wrong, repent, and ask for God’s help in overcoming our flesh.
- Understand that Pride is something we ALL must fight against, and determine in your heart and mind to FIGHT AGAINST IT. Don’t allow pride and self-righteousness to keep you from an eternity with God!
Heaven is too exquisite to let anything keep us from it. Realize your weakness, give up your control, and accept your dependence upon the Lord. Don’t trade an eternity with Him for any form of false perfection. It’s just not worth it. Juanita Deloris