Struggling with Perfection

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“You shall be perfect with the LORD your God”
Deut 18:13

Man searches for perfection. God charges us with perfection. However perfection is not always what we think.

In the passage above, Moses commands us to be tamim (תָּמִים), or, “finished,” “complete,” or “perfect” before the LORD. This Hebrew word is not defined as ideal moral perfectionism but is defined as being thoroughly made or heading to a complete or wholeness.

The rabbi note that tamim is used to describe completed years (Gen. 47:18); healthy animal sacrifices (Lev. 22:21-22); nourishing vines (Ezek. 15:5); truthful speech (Amos 5:10); finished building projects (1 Kings 6:22); and even the fulfilled destruction of a people (Num. 14:33).
Jesus echoed this when He said, “Be perfect…” (Matt. 5:48).

Our definition of perfection is different than God’s definition of perfection.

Perfection is not in an action, but in an acceptance. An acceptance of the perfection you are pursuing in your life.

God created and did things that we would see as imperfect. Since perfection isn’t a standard but a labor, perfection will then look different for each person.

Perfection is not something to be obtained but something to be embraced.

I am no longer struggling with perfection.

I am no longer striving to be perfect.

I, me. I am thriving as a perfect, complete me.

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Reflections of God’s greatest Artwork

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For as long as Man has existed there have been metaphors to explain the relationship between man and God. The one metaphor I personally enjoy is God as a type of artist.

In the Bible we see references and explanations of God as a poet, as an artist, as a painter, as a sculptor and as a potter.

God is not solely an artist, But God at this moment in your life may be acting as an artist.

In keeping with that characteristic of God we must remember the work of an artist, sculptor, painter or potter is not finished until the artist says it is finished. God has not finished his work in you yet. This is a beautiful word for where a lot of us are at right now.

God’s work in me is not done yet. God’s work in my life is not done yet. God’s work in my ministry is not done yet. That the work that God is doing in my family is not completed yet. The work that God is doing in my doctrine and my theology, in my life is not finished yet. The Bible exclaims this theme by stating, “He who began a good work in you… Will carry it on to completion.” (Philippians 1:6)

Also it is important to remember that the beauty of a work of art is only relative to the beauty that the artist sees in it. Onlookers may not see the same beauty that the artist sees. What may look as a blemish to some, to the artist it is a perfect representation of his imagination.

What may look like a blemish in your life may be God the artist’ inspiration and imagination coming to life. That bad attitude, that impulsive nature, the OCD or ADD isn’t a blemish on the artwork that is you, it is a representation of God’s divine imagination.

You are an artwork of the creator. Some may stare and not get it.
Others may mumble and rant about the seemingly slight imperfections.
But you are a culmination of God’s imagination.

Take a breathe

I couldn’t relate to God and nobody seemed to really care.

In church they told me God was a father, they called him Abba, I liked the word but I never knew my father, he hurt my mother and never helped me or my family in any way, that kind of father? They told me God was a provider, they called him El Shaddai, but my mom worked 3 jobs and put herself in the hospital to provide for just me and my brother, I was told we were all God’s children, “he has to provide for all these children!” I thought, I guessed I’d never see him, he’d always be working. I went to Sunday school on some occasions. When we were not coloring pictures depicting Noah’s Ark or David and Goliath we were memorizing scriptures and what they called the A B C’s to salvation. In a few years when I was older I was lucky to move up to the youth group which focused more on memorizing entire scriptures intended for making us feel guilty for doubt, sex and bad grades. We also talked about this thing called apologetics, which was all about defending our faith in school. Most of my time in church was spent learning how to defend this faith I still had so many questions about. They spent more time telling me what to believe, rather than who to believe in. I still didn’t know how to relate to God.

Now things are different. I spend much of my time helping many people find God in the world around them. Let me introduce you to my brother Allen, he is a writer of music, he is a worship leader, he plays almost every instrument know to man. He has a passion for music few will ever understand, he’s gone as far to make music his profession. He is not necessarily the most religious or typical Christian, he veers from theological topics and keeps distance from taking a verbal stance on many things because “we are all different.” I’d imagine if you ask my brother Allen who God is, he might pass over the father, provider and burning bush euphemisms. I think he would say something along the lines of how God is a vibration, to him God speaks through the vibration of strings, leather on drum heads and the vibrating of chords in the throat while singing. For him I think music goes farther and deeper than it does for me, but God is speaking to him in a different way when someone is playing, singing or dancing. This is his Horeb moment.

How beautiful to witness a God who distinctly will reveal himself to each one of us as we need. A few years back I decided to take a breather from this Christian thing. I chronicle this journey in my upcoming book, An Emerging Spirituality.

I took some time to breathe and what God began to teach me was when I take time to breathe I am becoming closer with God. God gave existence to everything in the garden of Eden, but he only breathed into man. He gave mankind something called “life”. This life was something different than being alive because the animals, water and plants were alive, but they didn’t have life. Life is purpose, life is intention, life is hope and dreams. Animals are alive, but a dog doesn’t get upset when his finances are in peril because he has stuff to do before he turns 30, he doesn’t cry when he sees a child starving to death when he knows he can do something. When we take some time to breathe we are taking a moment to become aware of God and the more he wants to do with us, we are becoming one with God.

Take a breath today, just breathe.