Perfection Isn’t Your Work, It’s God’s Work

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I have often wondered how we would respond if someone from the Hall of Faith was a member of our church.

Have you really thought about the kinds of people God chose to include in His Hall of Faith?

It is a motley crew of dysfunction and imperfection.

From an outward glance, they wouldn’t fit in our neat and tidy churches of blessed smiles that declare we’re living our best lives.

We would have a hard time reconciling their imperfections with our perception of what a “good Christian” should be.

Have you ever tried to measure up to that standard?

I have. And I discovered a two-fold problem arises when we try to live up to live up to this standard.

First, we fail to take into account that imperfect people living in an flesh that is not yet glorified cannot maintain a standard of perfection.

Second, when we discover that it is impossible to maintain this standard, we erect a façade so that our imperfections don’t show.

Our efforts to maintain an image of perfection always lead to inauthenticity.

Can I tell you a secret? God doesn’t expect perfection from you.

“But Rosilind, what about Matthew 5:48 that says ‘Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.'”

The word perfect in the Greek is Teleios and means “of age, finished, complete, integrity”.

That’s quite a difference from our meaning of perfect.

When Jesus gave that command, He didn’t mean that we were to live faultless lives. That is an impossible command to keep.

Biblical perfection is a beautiful equation.

Our imperfect, broken, fractured lives + Jesus’ shed blood and God’s eternal love and grace = Lives made complete and whole.

When we choose to walk God’s grace each and every day, we will find that while we’re still imperfect, but we’re moving toward greater maturity and integrity so we’re free to be authentic.

We no longer have to hide our imperfections because our image isn’t the focus, God’s grace is the focus.

Perfection Isn’t Your Work, It’s God’s Work

We see this truth so clearly in the life of Abraham who is a dichotomy of great faith and great lack of faith.

We first see Abraham leaving his home and embarking on a journey, not knowing where he was going or where he would end up.

God shows him the stars of the heaven and gives him a covenant promise that his descendants would be more than could be numbered.

And rather than trusting God to fulfill his promise through Sarah, who had fertility issues and was well past menopause, he decided that he was going to make it happen.

He stepped outside of his marriage covenant and fathered a child with Sarah’s servant Hagar.

He went on to make even greater trouble for himself and Sarah when he didn’t trust God to protect him from Abimelech.

So he and Sarah lied and told Abimelech that Sarah was his sister.

How could a man who trusted God so greatly before show such a lack of faith?

And yet, Paul calls him “faithful Abraham” and he is honored in Hebrews 11 for his great faith.

Having great faith doesn’t mean that we will never have weak moments when we try to work things out on our own – as Abraham did with Hagar.

Great faith is a journey.

After Abraham fathered a child with Hagar, and after Abimelech sent Sarah back to her husband Abraham, God put Abraham to an even greater test of his faith-

To take his only son and offer him as a sacrifice.

In this, Abraham showed just how deep his faith and trust in God really was.

While he may have had moments of weakness, his faith in God to keep his covenant promise was deeper than the love he had for his son.

Great faith and living the Christian life as authentic disciples of Jesus Christ isn’t about our ability to keep a perfect standard.

It’s about daily accepting God’s eternal grace to cover over our imperfections and weaknesses so that we are complete in Him.

As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily; and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.

Colossians 2:6-10 [Emphasis mine]

Dear sister, do not let the philosophies of this world of perfection and the image of success rob you of God’s grace and the joy of authenticity as a disciple of Christ.

Allow God to set you free from that standard that keeps you driven.

Jesus said that His yoke is easy and His burden is light.

It’s the yoke of false Christianity and empty deceit that keeps us bound to the unhappy and weighty burden of maintaining an impossible standard.

It’s the easy and light yoke of Christ that says, “rest in me and accept my grace that covers over your imperfections and makes you complete and whole.”


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Read more articles from the book of Genesis here:

3 Things That Prevent Us from Walking With God Like Enoch

Are We Living In the Days of Noah

Prior article from Genesis: What if Noah Were My Peer?

How to Be a Woman of Great Faith

Prior article from Genesis: He Isn’t the God You Think He Is

Perfection Isn’t Your Work, It’s God’s Work

Prior article from Genesis: The Covenant of Negotiation

What To Do When the Promise God Gives You Dies

How to Forgive as God Forgives

Prior article from Genesis: 3 Ways to Avoid Becoming Like Esau

What Does It Mean to Be Touched By God?

How to Build Your Trust in God in Hard Times

5 Ways to Build Trust in God’s Plan for Your Future

6 Ways Jesus is Revealed in Genesis

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