The Skinny on Excellence Pt.2

excellence2

Last week we talked about excellence and how striving for it is a reflection of the posture of your heart. This week I want to talk about excellence, perfection, and how they can work hand in hand. On one hand, perfection can be a hammer used to demoralize you and make you feel inadequate. On the other hand,if used appropriately, it can be used to guide you towards excellence.  Forgive me, we are going deep today…..

1 Peter 1:13-16 NIV

Be Holy

13 Therefore, with minds that are alert and fully sober, set your hope on the grace to be brought to you when Jesus Christ is revealed at his coming. 14 As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. 15 But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; 16 for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”

God is holy- which means He is set apart, perfect.

We are called to be holy like God because he is holy.

Also read

Matthew 5:48 NIV

48 Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

The Greek word for perfect here is Teleios which means:

1) brought to its end, finished

2) wanting nothing necessary to completeness

3) perfect

4) that which is perfect

a) consummate human integrity and virtue

b) of men

1) full grown, adult, of full age, mature

We know that we can never reach the level of Christian perfection that Jesus modeled for us in this life because we are prone to sin. That doesn’t mean that we quit when we find out we can’t get there. Imagine if one day we all just gave up doing good because we are not perfect. It would be chaos! That is not the message of Jesus. We are everyday taking tiny steps to be better than we were the day before. Hopefully everyday we are reaching a level of Christian excellence better than the day before. This is called “Sanctification” which means to be made holy. See where I’m going with this?

Perfection is like our “North Star”. We can’t get there, but it gives us a direction. Imagine going the opposite way of perfection. I googled the opposite of perfection and this is the best answer I could find.

       

        “For the kind of perfection that is unattainable and something you only strive for, the opposite would be insanity–the opposite of being of sound mind and wanting to be something better.

The kind of perfect that you can have, like a perfect square, is usually an idea that you accept. The opposite of that kind of perfect I would think is chaos. A chaotic square…does that make sense?”

The opposite of perfection is…..chaos or insanity.

We don’t expect perfection, that’s why we have grace.

We don’t expect perfection, that’s why we have grace.

WE DON’T EXPECT PERFECTION, THAT’S WHY WE HAVE GRACE!!!!

Got it?!

You can’t allow yourself to get put down when you realize you are not perfect. Anytime you measure yourself against perfection, you WILL fall short. Go into it knowing that. Don’t allow the idea of perfection to make you forget the process.

It’s not about being perfect in this life, it’s about the process.

The identification of perfection though, gives us a point to measure our excellence by. The only way we can identify when we are moving towards a better state of excellence is when we can measure it on the scale of perfection. If we move towards perfection, we are more excellent, when we move away from perfection…..you get the idea. When your heart strives to be more like Christ is when you begin the journey of excellence in everything you do.

But if we can’t achieve perfection, why should we strive for it?

Well first of all, 1Peter 1:13-16  and Matthew 5:48 tell us to. Can you think of a better reason?

Also, in our Wesleyan Theology, John Wesley believed that you could attain a perfect level of Christian love but could not attain a perfect sinless life. We are continually going through a sanctification process.  If you are a disciple of Jesus Christ, you are changing your life to be in line with His teachings, therefore you are being sanctified. Get it?! It’s all about the process.

How do you feel about perfection? Is it bad or good?

How have you seen the idea of perfection used for good? bad?

How do you feel about the notion of “perfection” giving you direction?

How do you feel about your walk with Jesus? Are you being made holy?

How can you use this idea of perfection and excellence in a tangible way in regards to your talents that God has given you?

I’d love to hear your thoughts about this! Comment in the bubble next to the title. Have a great week!

Brian

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