What is perfection? Perfection is that construct in our worldly existence that none of us will ever achieve while we are in this world. The additional question is, what is normal? Normal is yet another construct that we try to accomplish in our worldly existence that does not exist.
These, in my experience, are two words that make lives miserable. People spend their days trying to make their homes perfect, their lives perfect, their jobs perfect, and their children perfect, but no matter how hard they work, push, or expound their energies to reach this goal, they never seem to make the mark to a good point.
Normal is that constant goal of trying to be like everybody else or the perception of how everyone else is. The fact is we are not meant to be like everybody else. We are each unique creatures. A unique personality specifically cast for what we are meant to achieve in our lives. Many of us realize later in life that the goals that we set out to achieve and the plans that we have made are nowhere even close to what we were meant to do or be.
If you had told me ten years ago, I would be sitting here writing this now; I would have boldly laughed at you and called you crazy. But yet here I am, and I’ve never been more satisfied in anything I have done in my life other than Fatherhood. Do I think I am perfect? Certainly Not. Do I believe I have reached perfection or found normal? Not by a long shot. I have accepted that the course I was on was not the one the Father had planned for me and received his guidance.
So if we are continually striving for perfection that we will never achieve and continuously trying to be normal to be like everybody else, it’s no wonder that many people suffer mental illness, confusion, and depression over these two words.
Now to be very clear here, because I know someone will think I am misguided in the previous statement. I’m not saying that these two words are the sole source for mental illness and depression. There are many organic causes for mental illness and depression as well. I fight an organic cause of depression every day that developed after my heart attack, which I have mentioned in other articles and writings. I make no secret about it because it is fact, and it is well treated medically.
The futility behind these words is not changed by economic position, political position, or social status. You could be a multi-millionaire industrialist with multiple homes, multiple cars, aircraft, and anything your heart could desire that money can buy, and you could still feel like you have not found perfection. You could have spent the entirety of your days studying the social facets of various civilizations, trying to find a balance to society and still not find normal.
The Apostle Paul said in his letter to the Romans,
2 Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.
Romans 12:2 (NLT)
Now notice how Paul said this. He did not say we would find “perfect,” He said, “you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.” God’s will for us is what is “good, pleasing, and perfect.” Once we know it, we are on the course toward perfection.
We will never find true perfection in this world. It’s beyond the borders that we are allowed to reach while in the state of humanity. But all hope is not lost. We are given an opportunity to see that perfection does exist, and one can find that perfection through love. Through this love, we can exist within the borders that we were given in our state of humanity and still achieve the things we were created to achieve. To reach out toward true perfection through love and grow from that experience instead of trying to achieve it.
Our preview of perfection came in Jesus Christ. God sent us Jesus Christ to show us that there is perfection in love, in that there is something more significant for us to come in due time. For that to be fulfilled, Jesus Christ had to face the cross and pay for our sins With his breath and his blood. He took this sacrifice on himself out of love for us.
16 Someone came to Jesus with this question: “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?”
17 “Why ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. But to answer your question—if you want to receive eternal life, keep the commandments.”
18 “Which ones?” the man asked.
And Jesus replied: “‘You must not murder. You must not commit adultery. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. 19 Honor your father and mother. Love your neighbor as yourself.’”
20 “I’ve obeyed all these commandments,” the young man replied. “What else must I do?”
21 Jesus told him, “If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
22 But when the young man heard this, he went away sad, for he had many possessions.
23 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “I tell you the truth, it is very hard for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of Heaven. 24 I’ll say it again—it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!”
25 The disciples were astounded. “Then who in the world can be saved?” they asked.
26 Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.”
27 Then Peter said to him, “We’ve given up everything to follow you. What will we get?”
28 Jesus replied, “I assure you that when the world is made new and the Son of Man sits upon his glorious throne, you who have been my followers will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. 29 And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or property, for my sake, will receive a hundred times as much in return and will inherit eternal life. 30 But many who are the greatest now will be least important then, and those who seem least important now will be the greatest then.
Matthew 19:16-30 (NLT)
None of us are perfect or normal. We try to be the best we can be. Though we all fall and stumble our way through this humanity, all we are asked is to follow the path God has given us, live it according to the rules and plan designed for us, and do the best we can with what we are given while helping and loving everyone along the way. We are to strive to be perfect spiritually because being perfect any other way is humanly impossible.
We can change our appearance and dress in our best clothes. We can change our way of speaking and watch what we say. We can put our largest bills on an offering plate, and we can give up those chains and aspects that have kept us latched down. Still, the only change that makes an impact and brings us closer to perfection is an open heart and open mind to God and love for our fellow [man].
Music – Matthew West – Truth Be Told (Official Music Video)