For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
In a recent blog posting, Seth Godin wrote, “I'm sitting in a crowded lobby in Los Angeles, surrounded by 100 or so people. Not one of them looks like a movie star. No one has perfect hair, a perfect family, a perfect life… Role models are fine. But not when they get in the way of embracing our reality.”
It’s hard to deny that deep down inside each one of us is a spirit that is striving for some kind of perfection. Parents want to be better parents. Bosses want to be better bosses. Lovers want to be better lovers. And in all my earnestness and humbleness, I desire to be a better follower of Christ. But hey, that’s not reality.
It’s fun to think up all the things you could be perfect in. But what makes it difficult to really answer the question is the simple truth that perfection itself is not reality. Let’s face it. Perfection is subjective. We will never be able to agree on a clear-cut the definition because we each have our own set of criteria for not only how to define it but also how to live it.
As Godin concluded, “There are no movie stars. Merely people who portray them now and then.”
There are no perfect parents, bosses, lovers, marriages, or friends. We are all good people who are merely trying to do our very best. As I like to say, we are perfect because of this imperfection called reality.
As we move towards the end of Lent, it’s good to be reminded of our imperfect reality. I find it freeing that I will fail from time-to-time as I try to succeed in my Lenten fast. (Kathleen is very good at reminding me.)
I also know that when I fail at living up to the goals I’ve set for myself, I begin to discover what I can actually do, and thus who I can really be.
For example, I will never be Christ. But I could be like him. I can live as he lived which can define me not merely as a person, but as a particular person...a beloved child of God.
I hope that you are struggling with your fast, too. And if you are, like I am, then I also hope you are seeking your feast. For God needs you, in your imperfection, to carry on the mission that Christ began. We must never lose sight of the fact that “Christ has no body now but yours; no hands, no feet, but yours.”
We must imitate the one who was “without sin” by living as he lived...loving as he loved…teaching as he taught…being as he was. It’s not so much about perfecting Christlikeness but by simply trying to be the best at that you can be in the moment where it matters the most.
Instead of trying to perfect something you are not good at, just try to see through Christ’s eyes, love through his heart, speak through his mouth, and walk with his feet. To live in such a way – despite the mistakes or the stumbles that trip you up – you will redefine the reality of who you really are: a perfectly imperfect child of God.
Jesus redefined perfection by: