Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The Plague of Perfection

In my Revelation study I came across a familiar word that gave me the chills.


The verse that it was placed in didn't make it any more comforting. 

Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die: for I have not found thy works perfect before God. - Revelation 3:2

I mean seriously... how brutal is that? How do you even respond to that? 

When I was growing up perfection meant not making mistakes. It was measured in jump shots, free-throws and test scores. I was one of those kids that was a "perfectionist". I never wanted to make a mistake, and when I inevitably did I was always very hard on myself. I thank God everyday for helping me with this destructive tendency (He is still helping me). 

But when I came across this passage I was flustered. What does perfection mean anyway? It can't mean what I think it means because we all know that Jesus came and died and rose again so that we didn't have to be perfect. As the scripture says the letter kills but the Spirit gives life

So how could Jesus tell the church in Sardis that they were not perfect and hold it against them. I clearly had to do some digging because I have realized time and time again that when something seems contradictory or confusing it is because of my lack of understanding. It is never the Bible's fault. 

So I had to get gangster with it and dig into the Greek with the help of Blue Letter Bible and found this definition for the original word translated as perfect: 

to render full, i.e. to complete
He always has. He always does. He always will.

He always has. He always does. He always will.


to carry through to the end, to accomplish, carry out, (some undertaking)

This is STILL rocking my world. 

So many of us strive to be perfect when all God wants us to do is finish the work. He wants us to run the good race, fight the good fight. Along the way of course there will be many battles. Some we will win and some that we will lose. But as long as we hold on and keep fighting until the end He will be pleased. We must remember that the war has already been won. So when we fail we can rest assured that He is not one to step on us when we are down, but rather He lends us His right hand to pick us back up to fight another day.

This was so encouraging to me. Something that plagued me for years has now been vanquished. Now anytime I feel that draw towards trying to achieve perfection I can go back to this word and remember what that really means. 

Fight the good fight and finish the race. 

And I know that that this is possible because He will help me.


  1. What do you make of "Be perfect as your Father is perfect". That verse always gets to me. Great post :).

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