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95% of the Putts left Short, Don’t Go In

Posted by undergroundchurch on August 22, 2009


Yogi Bera said it the only way he can when he said, “95% of the putts left short don’t go in”.  We always strive to be better,  and in our hearts, I know we all wish we were perfect.

But, what is perfection?

There is the idealistic image of perfections – no flaws, errors or failures, the ultimate state of quality and  excellence.

In fact, there are no equivelant words to describe perfection because it goes to the extreme of our vocabulary.  The best way to describe it is by showing things that is it not. (e.g. flawed). The short of it is that there is no way for us to reach a state of idealistic perfection.  If I reached a state of perfection tomorrow, I would travel a path of imperfection getting there, thus nullifying the perfection I had attained.  An imperfect being cannot attain a state of perfection for there will always be the stain of imperfection.

We flawed humans can’t achieve perfection, yet we know that Jesus says in the heart of his greatest teaching, “Be perfect as the Lord your God is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). 

It’s easy to take one verse out of the Bible and demand things that aren’t as though they are.  This is one of those times when context is everything.  The entirety of Chapter 5 and 6 deal with one basic subject – don’t think like humans, think like God. Look at the comparisons he makes:

  • The blessings: when you think you are in a state of abasement, you are actually in a state of blessing.
  • Let your light shine before everyone
  • Murder: if it is in your heart, you are guilty even before you commit the act.
  • Adultery: if you lust after a woman in your heart, you have committed it.
  • Divorce: If you do it for “irreconcilable differences”, you set yourself up for adultery
  • Turn the other cheek when attacked, don’t respond like the world does.
  • Love your enemies, pray for those that want to hurt you
  • If you love only those that love you, what good it that?

This is where he says, “be perfect”.  Then he goes on.

  • Give to the needy, only don’t tell everyone
  • Pray to God, not in order to gain admirers that think you pray so well
  • Fast and pray, but don’t make it obvious for self-gratification
  • Don’t worry about tomorrow

In the midst of all this attitude adjusting teaching, Jesus tells us to be perfect as the Father is perfect.  The word used here can also mean “complete” or “finished”.  It comes from the root “telos” meaning, “the end”.  

You can do the things listed above and not be perfect.  Your heart must change.  You must take on the heart of God and act like you are God’s child.  God is in the business of replacing hearts, not repairing hearts.

Perfection is an attitude adjustment.  It is when Jesus thoughts become your thoughts and you aim to please the Father above all else.  Paul tells the readers in the letter to the Colossians, “We proclaim him, admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect in Christ” (1:28). This perfection or completeness can only be found in Christ when Christ is all that is flowing through your very veins. 

Don’t strive for perfection for perfection’s sake; strive to become like Christ – perfection then comes as a byproduct of that relationship.

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