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The Perfect Life within Reach?

If I asked you to describe the perfect life, what areas would come to mind first? Safe community, housing, financial status, health, relationships? If you asked someone in rural Georgia, what might they say? How about Seattle, Washington or an island in Southeast Asia?

Obviously, different cultures and backgrounds would probably express wildly different views on their perfect life. Everyone has (or has had) markers set for themselves that when this happens or they have this, they’ve “made it.” So why does so much of that end up ringing hollow?

These thoughts were all sparked by a friend’s simple comment to my post last week:

It is about His perfect will, not our perfect life.  –Floyd, ThereGoI.com

So true! How do you know His perfect will? Romans 12:1-2 lays it out for us. Present your body in worship to Him, a living sacrifice. Don’t conform to the world’s standards, culture, and views but be transformed by your mind being renewed. As you do this, you’ll prove God’s will–good, acceptable, and perfect.

If you don’t live in this manner, you’ll probably conform and chase after what the world sees as a “perfect life” and miss what God has for you.

In reality, God does want you to live a perfect life. It just doesn’t look like the world’s version.

This brings us to a problematic scripture. Many may want to skip or gloss over it, but the implications are huge.

Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. –Matthew 5:48

Jesus had been describing a Father’s love that causes sun to shine on evil and good and rain to fall on the righteous and unrighteous. He told them to love and pray for their enemies, to greet and love people with whom they may not want to associate. You can’t just look out for your own interests and preferences. You have to love indiscriminately.

Looking at the definition of the Greek word for perfect, we see something interesting.

  1. brought to its end, finished
  2. wanting nothing necessary to completeness
  3. perfect
  4. that which is perfect
    1. consummate human integrity and virtue
    2. of men
      1. full grown, adult, of full age, mature

You could look for a loophole and say, “Hey! When we’re talking ‘of men’ we’re talking about maturity! I’m not really expected to be perfect like God!” The problem is, it’s the same Greek word for perfect for our Father and us–why would Jesus use the comparison if He intended to illustrate two standards, one for God and one for us?

No, He has perfection in mind for you, but it’s not by your striving to love and serve and be good. This is the covenant of grace after all! Jesus lived the perfect life and now because of His sacrifice we have access to it by faith.

You aren’t living toward perfection, rather from His perfection. That’s how you are changed and transformed.

Jesus’ perfect life involved great miracles, loving, teaching, and crowds; but it also involved wilderness fasting, mockery, threats, and ultimately torture and death.  But until those final moments, He enjoyed unbroken fellowship with the Father. You can expect the same through the darkest times.

He had joy set before Him, pushing Him forward, whatever the cost. We consider our Jesus and what He suffered so we won’t grow weary or lose heart (Hebrews 12:2-3).

It may not be a perfect life by the world’s standards, but it’s the only life worth living–one that counts for eternity.

What are your thoughts on this? Have you ever been hung up on your idea of the perfect life? Why or why not?

4 Comments

  1. That Floyd is one insightful guy, isn’t he?
    Yes, we can only be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect if we submit all to Him and stop thinking that anything this world offers could possibly fulfill us.
    Blessings, Jason!

    • Yes, he is! 🙂 You are so right--surrender is a beautiful thing! Thank you, Martha. Blessings to you!

  2. Wow. Glad to know that sparked something so profound that boosted me immensely!

    Love your insights and your pondering, it’s chalked with wisdom from Above.

    Funny how what we thought of as “the perfect life” changes so drastically when we seek our Father.

    • Yeah, I really do appreciate our conversations! It’s such an encouragement and spurring of thoughts. God can use the smallest things and expand our hearts and minds. So thank you, Floyd!

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