Perfect Penelope vs. the Perfect Priest

There are so many things I could say on trying to be perfect. I really don’t even know where to start…

For as long as I can remember, I’ve struggled with perfectionism. I’d try my best to be so perfect in every way. I had to say the perfect words, have the perfect GPA, have the perfect hair, have the perfect outfit, be the perfect girlfriend, be the perfect Christian, and basically have the perfect life. Everything dealing with myself individually and in my life just HAD to be perfect. I would put so much pressure on myself and others that it became hard to just enjoy life, be me, and have healthy relationships.

The other day I had a major revelation. Many times Christians, including myself, confuse “being perfect” with “being Christ-like.” Once you give your life to The Lord and declare Jesus as your Savior, you automatically think life is just going to be easier and you’ll stop sinning. Well, that’s not the truth. It’s actually far from it. The purpose of accepting Christ into your life is so that you’ll have everlasting life, and when things do get rough you’ll be able to run to Him. Even if you make a huge mistake and are ashamed or embarrassed, you can still run to Him.

Jesus came to Earth to free us from our sin. “Christ had no sin, but God made him become sin so that in Christ we could become right with God” (2 Corinthians 5:21). And though He never sinned and was basically a Spirit in flesh form, He was tempted and tried and had “regular” human emotions like we do. Throughout the Bible, the one main thing Jesus did was act in love. God sent his son, Jesus, from Heaven to Earth as an act of love, and Jesus performed miracles and died on the cross as an act of love.

One of our major goals and roles as Christians is to live a life of love like Christ did. Matthew 5:48 says, “But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.” Obviously, God knows that we will never be perfect like his son, but He wants us to strive to live in peace, have compassion, and love one another. Here’s a break down of what Matthew 5:48 means from the Life Application Bible:

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I just want to encourage you if you struggle with perfectionism, like myself. Every now and then, I still catch myself trying to be “Perfect Penelope,” but I have to remind myself that I am only human. If I was perfect, I wouldn’t need God, and that’s not why God put me on this earth. Plus, God’s grace so sufficient that I will never need to be perfect, and neither do you. All my imperfections and mistakes make up who I am. All your imperfections and mistakes make up who you are. So we need to do away with any spirit of comparison, lack, people pleasing, etc., and focus on living for God and God alone. Celebrate your strengths and embrace your weaknesses, or whatever imperfections you feel you may have. Just remember that created you with a purpose and in His image… And always aim to live as children of light (Ephesians 4:17-32)!

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