Friday, November 11, 2011

We CAN Be Perfect-Part 1

I recently had the blessing of doing a devotion for a group of pastor's wives.  When I was first asked by phone if I would do the devotion I was tempted to pretend we had a bad  connection, but the woman asking was a friend and is very lovely, spirit-filled, and sweet.  So I tried to squash the feelings of inadequacies, inexperience and insecurities and said okay.    Then I started praying, "O, Lord, please help me make this devotion PERFECT in front of my peers."  Even I could hear God laughing at that.   I've never done anything 'perfect.' Oh, I've tried, and praise God, my family lived through my craziness and hyper-anxiety.  And they still let me live with them.    But the word PERFECT seemed to echo---we all have that desire to be perfect - yet it eludes us.  I did a scientific poll (okay-it was four or five friends), asking what is the definition of perfect?  They said, without fault, no blemishes, making no mistakes, blameless.
     Can any of us live up to that definition?  Hardly-my hand would have to be the first one in the air to admit to my own lacking.   Yet  Jesus says in Matthew 5:48, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."  I never got that.  So God directed me in a biblical study of the word perfect.     In the Bible there are different definitions of 'perfect' in the Hebrew and Greek.  Let's look at some Old Testament examples.  In 2 Samuel 22:33 (refer to picture above) perfect [Hebrew: tamiyn] means complete, whole, entire and what is in accord with truth and fact.   1 Kings 8:61 says,  "Let your heart therefore be perfect [Hebrew:  shalem] with the LORD our God, to walk in his statutes, and to keep his commandments, as at this day."  Perfect here means 'safe, peaceful, whole.'   Hezekiah, in 2 Kings 20:3, prays to God and reminds him that he (Hezekiah) has walked with a 'perfect' heart.  God hears and adds 15 years to his life and performs the miracle of reversing the sun's path.  Noah, Abram, David, and Job are also described as having a 'perfect' heart. 
      So what does this mean to us?   We are lacking, yes, but when we bind our hearts to God he completes us, and fills those gaps, buffs out the imperfections, and makes us complete, safe and peaceful.   What great hope and joy that gives me!  
     So can we be perfect?  What do you think? Post a comment below.  Part 2 will talk about the definition of 'perfect' from the New Testament.
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1 comment:

  1. Being perfect has sometimes confused me as well. Very nice post!