PERFECTION OR PERCEPTION?

Men today have fallen for the devil’s ploy of redefining “perfection” to include a number of perceptions that have nothing to do with being perfect.  Athletes, actors, politicians, CEO’s, government officials and the list of men goes on and on that are “perceived” to be perfect and therefore ideal role models.  Sadly, none of them come close to God’s definition of “perfect.”  Day by day we are moving further and further from God’s desire for His men.  We are worshiping the created rather than the Creator! 

Natalie Grant, Contemporary Christian Song Artist, has a great song about this and the lyrics hit this topic dead on:

“Never let ’em see you when you’re breaking
And never let ’em see you when you fall
That’s how we live and that’s how we try
Tell the world you’ve got it all together
And never let ’em see what’s underneath
We cover it up with a crooked smile
But it only lasts for a little while

There’s no such thing as perfect people
There’s no such thing as a perfect life
So come as you are, broken and scarred, lift up your heart
And be amazed and be changed by a perfect God … yeah

Suddenly it’s like a weight is lifted
When you hear the words that you are loved
He knows where you are and where you’ve been
And you never have to go there again, no

There’s no such thing as perfect people
And there’s no such thing as a perfect life
So come as you are, broken and scarred lift up your heart
And be amazed and be changed by a perfect God
Who lived and died to give new life
To heal our imperfections
So look up and see love and let grace be enough … oh

There’s no such thing as perfect people,
Yeah there’s no such thing as a perfect life
So come as you are, broken and scarred, lift up your heart
And be amazed and be changed by a perfect God
By a perfect God … yeah by a perfect God
Yeah by a perfect God … by a perfect God
Be changed by a perfect God
Be changed”[1]

Scripture tells us “The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons.  Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.”[2]  WOW!  Do you agree that this statement is a description of our country today?

God has clearly stated the things that are disobedient to His direction.  Yet many who are looked to as role models are stating that these things are acceptable “choices” that people should have a right to make.  As a culture, we have lost our connection with God’s definition of perfection and accepted perceptions as the direction we should go.  “People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God— having a form of godliness but denying its power.”[3]  How could these behaviors be thought of as perfect?  Yet perception has given approval to such behaviors.

Why is it so important that we recognize the difference between God’s one and only true definition of perfection versus the culture’s perceptions?  It is stated clearly in God’s word when John tells us But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars—they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”[4]  Those who are persuaded to follow the perceptions of our culture will be drawn away from a personal relationship with Christ and face eternal separation from our Heavenly Father which is known as the “second death.”

So how does a Follower of Jesus Christ know what God defines as perfection versus worldly perceptions?  God’s word defines it for us this way As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit—just as it has taught you, remain in him.”[5]  God makes us righteous when we accept a personal relationship with His Son and because of what Jesus Christ did for us; and by God’s anointing we are provided the guidance of the Holy Spirit to assist us in studying and learning His word.  It is through this relationship that we learn God’s definition of perfection.

Living by God’s definition of perfection is not easy and He tells us “In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived.  But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.  All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”[6]  The infancy stated in this verse is our spiritual infancy which means that in order for us to grow and mature to meet God’s definition of perfection requires obedience and effort.

Paul gives us this direction in the passage following: “Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.  Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.   All of us, then, who are mature should take such a view of things. And if on some point you think differently, that too God will make clear to you.  Only let us live up to what we have already attained.”[7]  To achieve God’s perfection requires that we “press on” to what God expects of us as Followers of Jesus Christ.

           “To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.  He is the one we proclaim, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone fully mature in Christ.”[8]  So are you seeking to follow God’s definition of perfection or the world’s perceptions?  Jesus came to not only serve as a sacrifice for our sin’s but prior to His crucifixion and resurrection He lived his life as an example/role model for us to know what God desires.  Perfection or perception … the choice is yours.


[1] Perfect People written by Matthew West, Joseph Mizelle, Cindy Barton’ Published by Warner Chappell Music, Inc; Performed by Natalie Grant
[2] All scripture used in this article is taken from the NIV Translation of the Holy Bible unless otherwise noted.  1 Timothy 4:1-2
[3] 2Timothy 3:2-5
[4] Revelations 21:8
[5] 1 John 2:27
[6] 2 Timothy 3:12-17
[7] Philippians 3:12-16
[8] Colossians 1:27-28

 

 

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