A few weeks back I was chatting with the manager of the tanning salon and the conversation turned to her recent California vacation. She teased me about the nice weather of her native southern California and the cloudy, rainy weather of Oregon, my home state. Bethany joked that she’d done her best to bring back a bit of sunshine with her but it didn’t take.
We laughed and I said that she really needed to try a bit harder next time. She said that next time she’d have it down perfect.
I reminded her that life isn’t long enough to reach perfection. “Anyone who expects perfection will end up failing by the same standard.”
Perfectionism is not only a dangerous standard to hold ourselves to, it will drain the life out of anyone we hold to our ideas of perfection.
Some people think that God requires perfectionism. These folk are unfamiliar with both the Bible and the God of the Bible. The Bible is full of men and women riddled with flaws. But God isn’t as much concerned with our flaws as He is with our faith in Him. He calls flawed men and women who come to Him in faith His “friends” (Hebrews 11). When a person comes to God through His Son Jesus, God sees past our flaws and forgives them as if they never existed. He doesn’t expect us to be more than He’s created us to be; He accepts us as we are so He can make us what He wants us to be.
The key is trusting Jesus to meet the standard of perfection that only God can meet. Jesus lived a perfect life because you can’t. He lived a perfect life to give His life to you. All you need to do is accept His gift.
So great is His mercy toward those who fear Him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has He removed our transgressions from us … for He knows our frame; He remembers that we are dust (Psalm 103:11-12, 14).