Sunday, May 11, 2014

Chasing Perfection

"Be perfect."

What phrase could be more daunting, more frustratingly impossible?
Try this one on for size -- "Be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect" (Matthew 5:48).
Now we have not just a call for perfection, but God as the standard. How can mere men ever dare or even hope to reach this lofty standard?

Honestly I'm not too much of a fan of theological debates. But this one cannot get away from my mind's unyielding grasp. Why would God say something He did not mean? Would He? Could He?

Or maybe.... He meant exactly what He said, and we have only grasped part. Surely, being perfect applies somehow to obeying the laws of God and living for Him, but that discussion is for another time. For now, I would suggest that perhaps part of perfection is not how we live or who we live for (though that must certainly have something to do with the subject), but how we love and who we love and on whose behalf we give and receive love.

All other debates aside, let us just think of God's commands for us to love.
Matthew 22:37-40 tells us to love God and love our neighbors,
John 15:9-12 tells us to abide in God's love and love others as He loves us,
Matthew 5:43-47 tells us to love our enemies the same way we love our brothers- which should be as He loved us first, and countless other verses throughout the Bible tell us to love one another....
All of these commandments to LOVE, and we say that perfection is in obedience?
(Mind you, part of love and abiding in love is obedience, but once again I think that is for another time.)

Here's an idea: let's try it, this love.
I'd bet perfection comes along for the ride.
After all, this love is unlike any other.

What could be more perfect than a love like His?
Love that covers, heals and comforts;
Love that is real, love that is 'patient and kind,'
Love that says 'you first, then me.'

Can you imagine, the peace and joy this love would bring?
Love of innocence, of truth and of goodness,   
Love with endurance, belief, and hope, and 
Love that never ends.

This love is radical. It is
Love for Him, love for me, love for them,
Love to lay down and not to take,
Love to love and nothing else.

Especially on this Mother's Day, when we are supposed to honor those women who gave us life at birth and life through living, let us go one step further than honor. Let's love one another.
Let's love- our moms, family, friends, and strangers too.
Let's chase perfection, starting and ending with loving God and people.

On a side note, thank you for your patience in all of my meanderings. I know my thoughts can be scattered and lengthy... And to any Mom's reading this, Happy Mother's Day- We really do honor you for all you've done, and love you for all you are.