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!