We have this admonition from our Lord Jesus Christ; Matthew 5:48 “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” Now lots of people place this as something far out in the future, one day out there somewhere I will arrive, or when we all get to Heaven. Yet there are still others that perceive this “Perfection” as something that you arrive at, sort of like an “Airport,” “I have arrived” and “I have attained,” the search and the journey is now all over.
Scripture is amazing, as everything “Spiritual” has a “Physical” connected to it, an object, a Feast, a Festival, a Building, all sorts of physical things that we can examine, understand, and then with this template, we can then fully understand something “Spiritual” from that example. If we just “arrived” at perfection, then it would be like just “Getting Married.” Got married, tick that one off the list as attended to, and then off to the next item on the list, is that how it acceptably works? Nobody would be acceptable of those terms, you leave the wedding reception, head off back home to your flat, get back to life, and who knows where your spouse is, but “I am Married.”
Here is a Modern Parable; a couple you know invite you to the hospital and there in the Maternity Ward you find them beaming over a bonny baby, and you get a cuddle, baby is absolutely Perfect. A few days later you get called into the Boss’s Office, and find that all your talents and skills have been well noticed, you now have that dream promotion, a transfer to “Head Office,” you pack, move, new apartment, settle into life, lose contact with some old friends, make new ones, and life speeds by.
About 10 years latter you get a “Wedding Invitation” from back home, so you slot that into a visit to your old branch Office, and turn up, lots of familiar faces everywhere, and there at the table seated right next to you is your old friends that you had lost contact with, holding a beautiful new Baby. Then you put your foot in your mouth, “What a perfect addition to your family,” no you are told, this is the same baby that you held over ten years ago, isn’t baby absolutely perfect? Well isn’t baby perfect? You see “Perfection” is not a state of arrival, it is not a static state, a point you get to; for true perfection is “Growth” and you have to move quickly on from that point to better things, like climbing a very tall ladder, each rung reached is perfection, but you must not stop there, step up to the very next rung quickly.
In gardening, a plant or a tree is perfect, as long as it keeps growing, growing is not something you “arrive at” it is something you arrive at and then surpass, right on past to the next, for it is development, progress. 2 Peter 3:18 “But grow in grace, and [in] the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To him [be] glory both now and for ever. Amen.” In gardening, that which ceases to grow, or slows in growth, is immediately dying, and the pruners will quickly cut it away. A bean seed is “Perfect” so plant it, and up comes a sprout, “Perfect” so is it time to harvest a bucket of beans for diner? No, it must continue to put out more leaves, flowers, thin pods, and then fat pods of succulent beans, growth is perfection, moment by moment, continual growth and development.
So how is it with you and me, why are we trying to soak in the Spa Pool of perfection? The water will quickly chill and send you fleeing. As the old saying goes, “Live fish swim up-stream and dead ones float down-stream.” 2 Corinthians 3:18 “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, [even] as by the Spirit of the Lord.” “Beholding” is an ongoing developmental, growth, growing and advancing concept, as you cannot arrive and declare “mission accomplished,” as things that stop or slow growing are actually really dying. We have lists of all the “Lust of the Flesh” and that lust tarnishes and defaces the Perfection of the Character of God reflecting in us. But if we have the “Lust of the Spirit,” walking in “The Spirit” we are spirit filled, and perfectly reflect God, and look so much like Jesus Christ.
1 John 3:2-9-3 “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.” This verse looks so much like the first text, Matthew 5:48 “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” Being “Perfect” is very much locked into the concept of God-likeness, Godliness, following Jesus, walking in the spirit, being connected to and empowered by God.
Maturity is; “To be able to stick with a job until it is finished, to do ones duty without being supervised, to be able to carry money without spending it, and to be able to hear an injustice without wanting to get even.” Matthew 5:48 “Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” So let us all up and get “Growing.”