"As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the LORD is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in him." 2 Samuel 22:31
Perfect is one of those words that we can use flippantly and broadly to refer to people or things that can't even begin to fulfill the meaning of the word. You know..."Oh, your hair looks just perfect!" or "That dress is really perfect." or "Their marriage is so perfect." or "We found the perfect church." Webster defines perfect as "being complete of its kind and without defect or blemish." Can we just agree right now that only God...the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit...and His Word are perfect? This beautiful planet we live on began as perfect, but was marred forever by the sin of man...and woman. Perfection will only be found again for us upon Christ's return, "when perfection comes, [and] the imperfect disappears." (1 Cor. 13:10)
I feel that I must begin with myself and admit that I am not perfect! (No "Amens" to that, please!) I would love to be the perfect Christian, wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend, teacher, writer...but I am not. I am far from "complete," and am endowed with great "defect(s)" and "blemish(es)"! My testimony is surely not perfect. I am appalled with some of the things that I have done, words that I have said, thoughts that I have had, decisions that I've made. No, my testimony is not perfect...but it is my imperfect. Praise His Name for unconditional and unfailing love, for forgiveness, grace, compassion, protection, and the lessons learned along the way...even the painful ones.
My walk with God is not perfect...I fail Him daily, sometimes by pulling the covers up higher when He is calling me out of bed and into quiet time with Him, when He tells me that the laundry or the dishes or my writing can wait because my child needs some cuddling time and I don't listen, when He calls me to write instead of laundry or dishes or cuddling, when I don't have a servant's heart, the right attitude, or contentment....The list could go on....But He never gives up. He woos me. He forgives me. He continues to mold and shape me. He whispers of His love for me. Oh, I'm so thankful for the One Who is the "perfecter of [my] faith" (Hebrews 12:2). And in that I have hope...even in my imperfect walk, because I know that "He who began a good work in me will be faithful to complete it." (Phil 1:6)
Our home is not perfect. Dust bunnies, piles of laundry, that lovely pinkish orange residue that shows up in the shower or toilet can sometimes be seen. My closet is messy. There are doggie paw prints on my floor. There are weeds in my flower garden (and some of my newly planted flowers are just not going to make it.) Our meals aren't always home-cooked or nutritionally balanced. Sometimes that white stuff that flecks off the milk jug collects in my fridge. No, it's not perfect, but it's our imperfect.
Our family is not perfect. Sometimes we get cranky. Sometimes we whine. Sometimes we take each other for granted. Sometimes we forget to say "thank you." Sometimes we "let the sun go down on our anger". Sometimes we watch too much TV. Sometimes some of us can't wait to take a few bites of dinner before we pray. Some members of our family burp (but do say "Excuse me."), and some members encourage them by saying, "Nice!" No, our family's not perfect, but it's our imperfect. And it is blessed by our gracious Heavenly Father.
In 2 Corinthians 13:9, Paul challenged the church at Corinth...and us...to "Aim for perfection...." So, do we just say that it's impossible and give up? No! And I hope you don't mind if I use this verse out of context, but I think it can be an encouragement to us. "Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up." (Galatians 6:9) We have hope! And, as the hymn says, "Our hope is found in nothing less than Jesus' blood and righteousness." We must follow His way, stay in His Word, and allow Him to be our shield. He will make us like Him...perfect...forever. Praise His Name!
Our precious, perfect Heavenly Father, thank you for your unfailing and unconditional love. Thank you for pursuing us relentlessly. Thank you for molding and shaping us. Please help us to allow you to do the work to bring us to eternal perfection.