Yesterday I was thinking about perfection and the way that God demands it. Ironically, when Adam and Eve ate the fruit that would make them “like God” they lost their perfect goodness. Ever since, humanity has balked at God’s desire for perfection in our lives. Or at least, I know I do. Why would God want me to be perfect when I’m not? It seems like a non-sequitur from our Just As I Am theology. We deeply desire to be accepted for who we are, and when we realize that a Holy God wants his children to be perfect it seems like he wants them to be something other than who they are.
However, after some reflection, I don’t think that’s the case. Or, at least our perspective is wrong. God does in fact accept us just as we are, and loves us even when we aren’t seeking Him. As a good and gracious Father, he desires the best for us and wants to see us living the most perfect life possible. When He calls us to holiness, he’s not calling us to be someone different, He’s calling us to the best possible life we can have. Sometimes it is easy to forget that holy is what we were supposed to be all along.
How often do we desire to live the good life but run away from doing the things that will allow us to live it? I know I do. All the time. Every single day. To be clear, I think that even the perfect life on earth is not going to be constant sunshine and rainbows but it can be full of peace and joy that only comes from God. Trials, tragedy, and temptations will still come but we will be able to face them with the hope of heaven.
Every once in a while I remember that maybe God does know what he’s doing after all.
14 Like obedient children, do not be conformed to the desires that you formerly had in ignorance. 15 Instead, as he who called you is holy, be holy yourselves in all your conduct; 16 for it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” 1 Peter 1:14-16 (NRSV)
47 And if you greet only your brothers and sisters, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? 48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matthew 5:47-48 (NRSV)