Matthew 5:48 says, “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” During my journey, I have learned how difficult it is to do what’s right. I’ve learned how difficult it is to be perfect. I’ve especially learned I’m not perfect and never will be perfect. I’ve done something perfectly at times, but that doesn’t make me perfect. When I measure a piece of wood, cut it and it fits perfectly into the place I cut it for, I feel good. I sit there and look at it. I look around to see if anyone else saw how perfectly I cut the wood. Normally I’m alone and have to settle for my own hand patting my back.
What did Jesus mean when He told us to be perfect like God is perfect? I don’t think He meant we humans can always be perfect. I think He meant we should strive for perfection from the mental aspect. If we start out wanting to do the right thing, the right way, we have a better chance of actually achieving our goal. However, even if we do some things perfectly, it doesn’t mean we’re perfect human beings.
Pastors are some of the loneliest people on the planet. We either think they should be perfect because they’re servants of God, or we think we have to be perfect in their presence. Either way most of us don’t hang out with our pastors. I feel becoming a follower of Christ, is a perfectly good thing to do. But being a follower of Christ doesn’t make us perfect. It makes us forgiven. I don’t think it’s the expectation of perfection that drives a lot of people away from church. I think people are driven out of church by those in the church who give the illusion they have reached perfection. The illusion wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t for the fact their advice on how to reach perfection is always forthcoming.
Why can’t we be perfect? There are many reasons why people aren’t perfect. Some of those reasons have to do with our own vanity and sinful nature. Some of the reasons have to do with the fact we have to interact with other people, who happen to live on this planet. My son has something perfect going on. He’s a sixth grader at a middle school. He has never missed a day of school. However, there’s a teacher who seems to be watching him like a hawk. Every time he coughs she tells him he should stay home if he’s sick. Instead of doing something positive to help a student who loves school, she makes him afraid she’s going to send him home, for a little cough. As his parents we would never send him to school, if he looked sick or if he could be infectious to other students. So, one reason we can’t be perfect is other so called well-meaning people will always get in the way.
I see homeless people on the street and I wonder why a city full of Christians can’t act mentally perfectly for the sake of the poor? There are easily 100,000 people in this city who attend church and claim to be Christians. What if half of us gave ten dollars a month to a selected group of Christians representing all Christians churches in the city? How many apartments building with cafeterias could $500,000 a month build? This won’t happen because the Southern Baptist won’t work with the Catholics. The Methodist won’t work with the Northern Baptist. The Lutherans won’t work with the Episcopalians. The Seventh Day Adventist, The Jehovah Witness and The Church of Latter-Day Saints trust no one but themselves. So, the results of this little imperfection within the Christian community, is the sheep of Christ aren’t fed. The sheep of Christ are still thirsty. The sheep of Christ are not clothed. So, another reason we can’t be perfect is because we within the Christian community have issues.
When so many houses of God stand divided, none will be able to stand and show society, perfection isn’t about being perfect. I realize many churches do things within their own organization, but how much powerful would it be if we all stood united, for an active demonstration of love? I think what Jesus could have meant, when He talked about being perfect like God the Father, he meant we should be able to become one Christian family, because there is only one God, one father and one baptism. Perfection isn’t about wearing a bracelet asking what Christ would do. We know what He would do. The point is for us to do what Christ would do. And, just for the record, the denominations I mentioned above are all in the telephone book, along with many more. However, I couldn’t find them in the Bible.

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