Eyes That See

“I Once Was Blind”

Perfection?

Perfection in this world is unattainable.

So why do so many people fall into the trap of thinking that other people are or should be perfect.  We look around us, and we wish that we had what everybody else has and wonder why they don’t struggle with the things we are struggling with.  And this is dangerous because when we attribute perfection to the people around us, then we foolishly raise our expectations of ourselves to perfection, and we measure ourselves based on constant comparisons between what they do and what we do.  What makes these things dangerous is that they too often end up in isolation and lonely failures. 

The truth is that the only perfection in this world is found in God, and the only perfect person who has ever walked this earth was Jesus Christ.  And there will never be another perfect person on this earth until He returns.  And His righteousness is the only measuring stick that we should use.

Christians are not free from sin.  I recently listened to two John Piper sermons on “The Divided Man” of Romans chapter 7.  Piper says that Christians should “sound three notes” that are found in chapter 7 when we sin.  The first is that we joyfully concur with the law of God.  The second is that we hate the sin that we just committed.  The third is that we should feel wretched before God.  And we should realize that perfection is unattainable as long as we are in this flesh and subject to its law, and that only Jesus Christ can save us from this unrighteousness. 

Although perfection is unattainable, I believe that we should still strive for it.  A baseball player would fail miserably if he was too eager to accept that .300 is a great batting average and consequently went to the plate hoping to get a hit three out of ten times.  And a basketball player would fail miserably if he (or she) went into a game hoping to make 40% of his (or her) shot attempts in a game.  Although a .300 batting average or a 40% field goal per centage with enough attempts would probably land you in the hall of fame of the respective sport, if you are overly acceptive of failing six or seven out of ten times then you are inevitably going to fail way more often than that.  So a baseball player steps up to the plate hoping to get a hit every time and a basketball player takes a shot hoping to make it every time.  And although they realize that outs and misses are just part of the game, they still strive for the unattainable perfection. 

In the same way, we should strive for unattainable perfection as Christians, and we should never be overly acceptive of failure.  The best way that I have found to do this is a two-step process.  I still fall on my face more often than I would like, but I have yet to taste failure while using this strategy- only when I stray from it.  The first step is to meditate on God’s law day and night.  If we joyfully concur with God’s law after we sin, we also have to at some point joyfully concur with God’s law before we sin.  And if we hate the sin after we commit it, we also have to at some point hate the sin before we commit it.  And if we realize that we are wretched before God after we sin, we also have to at some point realize that we are wretched before God before we sin.  And if we meditate on these things before we sin, then we will find ourselves in a position to rely on God and meditate on His law in the face of sin.

So the first step is to rely on God to fight sin.  The second step is to rely on other people to fight sin.  This is why it is important to not falsely attribute perfection to those around us.  We have to realize that we are all fallen sinners before God, and that even though we see people’s best every Sunday at church, they are no better off without help from God and without help from other people than we are.  If we think other people are perfect, then our pride will stand in the way and won’t let us share our imperfections with others.  Which means we will keep our imperfections isolated and suffer endless lonely failures.  If we realize that other people are not any more perfect than we are- without going to the other extreme and looking down on them- then it becomes easier to confess our sins to them.  When we are open and honest with each other and confess our sins to each other, then we can help each other.  We can pray with and for each other, have accountability with each other, and encourage each other to grow. 

I really liked part of the Mel Gibson movie a few years ago called “The Patriot.”  He was teaching his young sons how to shoot a gun, and instructed them to, “aim small, miss small.”  In the context that it was used in the movie, if you aim at an exact point in a man’s chest, then you might miss that exact point but you most likely won’t miss the whole man.  Whereas if you just aim to shoot the man in general, you have a greater chance of missing the whole man.  I am not condoning shooting men- in the context the British army was taking Mel Gibson’s character’s son away and desperate times were calling for desperate measures.  However, I think that quote can be applied to the aforementioned athletes as well as to Christians. 

If the athletes aim for perfection and do everything they can to make the very best possible effort towards perfection, then they will have the best batting average or field goal per centage or whatever the measure might be.  Whereas if they aim for “good” rather than perfect, they will more than likely, “miss the whole man,” so to speak, and will fall short of fulfilling their potential.  Similarly, we can be the best Christians we can be if we aim for perfection- by setting aside our pride and relying on God and others to wage the best war against sin that we can- and we will avoid, “missing the whole man.”

Advertisements

October 6, 2007 - Posted by | Uncategorized

4 Comments »

  1. Good word, Dave-O!

    Jimbo

    Comment by jimhamilton | October 7, 2007 | Reply

  2. Preach it Brother Ham!

    Comment by Billy Newhouse | October 9, 2007 | Reply

  3. Any post that combines Romans 7, a baseball analogy, “The Patriot” and David Hamilton is a winner in my book.

    Comment by Kates | October 10, 2007 | Reply

  4. Wow I am really the only reply to this amazing read!?

    Comment by Brittany Holden | May 27, 2010 | Reply


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: