Be Perfect Like…Are You Serious?!

Be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matthew 5:48

Well, you know, Lord. I’ve tried that and figured out that it just doesn’t work.

What in the world was Jesus thinking when he let this one slip? Surely, in the telling, the anonymous author of The Gospel According to Matthew got the message screwed up.

Photo: V. Slotto

Photo: V. Slotto

Okay, Lord. Look carefully at these gorgeous flowers. Perfect, aren’t they? Well, maybe not. See that little shriveled one center, right? It’s either coming or going but it just isn’t as splendid as the others. However can you expect us to achieve perfection? Maybe for a moment in time, but not for the long haul.

I imagine an angel swooping down from heaven:

Let me set you straight, lady. First of all, it might have been a good idea if the gospel writer had used the word “perfected.” Perfect is a process. A process of becoming all you were meant to be. You can’t expect to achieve even a smidgen of that on your own. Next, apparent imperfection is a tool for learning. That is, imperfection in others and, above all, in yourself. Get over it. Forgiveness. That’s what you need. Forgive those around you and forgive yourself for not being what YOU esteem to be perfect.

And so I return to the seemingly endless job of editing my second novel, The Sin of His Father. I think I’ve read this thing a thousand times and still–it’s not perfect. Last night I received what I thought was the final proof copy and here I am, finding more mistakes. So, this will be the last edit. I know God is telling me to let it go, release it with love. After all, the theme of the novel is forgiveness, and I trust the typos or less-than-perfect formatting will be forgiven.

Are there areas in your life tin which you try too hard to be perfect?




This may be a myth, but I read somewhere that the Amish deliberately leave a mistake in their work to remind them that they are not perfect!


4 thoughts on “Be Perfect Like…Are You Serious?!

  1. Shawna says:

    That is a miserable process, editing and editing and editing … and then, that dreaded final proof that makes you feel sick to your stomach because you just know you’re going to find a missed error and it will be too late. (I used to work for a publishing company.)

    And yes, you are so right about the difference between the words “perfect” and “perfected.” But, the scripture is actually “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” If we see the word “therefore” in a passage, we must make sure we read carefully the preceding verses. In context, I believe the passage implies that the way to seek Godly perfection is to love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you. Basically, we must go against our natural instincts to guard ourselves against those who would harm us. When we are “perfect” as God is perfect, then we deny our own feelings to love and pray for those who wish the worst for us.

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  2. Perfection is a god like state I think Victoria and as we are not very god like most days we strive to find perfection which like happiness can be elusive. I don’t need to deliberately put in a error in any of my work as it appears so often with little help from me.
    Good luck with your novel too, at some point as artists we have to say enough is enough and go publish/display our work and hope our readers are kind to us.

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