But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect. Matthew 5:48
“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection, we can catch excellence.” Vince Lombardi
So, you want to be perfect. Great goal. Even Jesus said that we should be perfect, as his Father in heaven was perfect. So, let’s do this thing. Let’s be perfect.
Perfectionism can make us very anxious because we get frustrated in not having it all just right and under control. Anxiety tells us that we SHOULD be perfect, and anything less is inadequate. We are just not built that way. Less than perfect is OK. Giving up on the pursuit is not.
I tell my clients that the road to perfection is like a hyperbola. Remember algebra and the x and y axis? Parabolas and hyperbolas?
Neither do I.
But those concepts can be instructive for this discussion. I understand that from the mathematical equations in algebra, the formulas for a hyperbola cannot generate a figure which actually touches the x or y axis. The figure can get closer and closer to the axis, but it does not reach it until infinity. Our quest is like that. We are to do the things that get us closer and closer to the goal.
So, we are on the road to perfection. We will never get there this side of heaven, but we are told to strive for it. We can get closer and closer, and that is our striving. But do not expect perfect. Don’t get weary in pursuit of it, but don’t expect to get it- at least not in this life.
Our fallen nature simply cannot allow for perfect. We can get very close in so many ways, but there are too many things that can get in the way of perfect in this world.
So, we pursue perfection, knowing that we cannot get there. The striving is the key. We keep working at doing better, working toward the ultimate goal. The striving IS the goal. Not the perfection, but the working toward it.
So, when Jesus told us to be perfect, I think he meant, “Be on the road to perfection- be on the right road. As long as we are on the right road, we will ultimately reach his perfect place at the end.
Prayer: Thank you Father for the right directions toward you in Jesus.