I’m a recovering perfectionist. I’ve been on a journey for several years to let go of doing everything right and stop worrying about what other people think of me. Easier said than done, right? Last Fall, God brought several opportunities into my life that started to revolutionize my thinking about the word perfect.
When the time came to prepare for 2012 and ask God what He wanted me to focus on this year, it was clear what my one word for the year should be. God called me to research the biblical meaning of the word PERFECT and live it out. And so began my revolution: discovering perfect.
I cannot ever be perfect as the Old Testament Law would define perfect. I’m sinful and I live in a fallen world. That’s why God sent Jesus as the perfect sacrifice for my sins. Because I have received forgiveness and salvation, God now sees me through that atoning sacrifice.
If I can’t be sinless, what kind of perfect is God calling me to live?
In the English Standard Version, the word perfect can be found 53 times in 50 different verses. Digging a little deeper, I found that there are several different root words in both Hebrew and Greek that can be translated into English using the word perfect. As with any language translation, it can be difficult to find a precise word-for-word equivalent in English for words in Hebrew and Greek. More often, there is a range of words and meanings, the best of which is chosen based on the context, and the additional range of meaning for a word enhances our understanding of what a word means in a particular passage.
Using that as my foundation, I’m now working my way through the Hebrew and Greek words that we translate as perfect. So far in my study, I’ve found that perfect really has little to do with being sinless and without failure. It really has more to do with peace, wholeness, completion, and maturity.
What do those things all have in common?
I can’t bring any of them about, in, or of, myself. I must rely on God. This is the process of sanctification, a big theological word for the process God uses to bring me to maturity and set me apart for His work. It’s an on-going process that doesn’t end until I’m in the presence of God.
Are you ready for a revolution in 2012? Are you ready to redefine perfect? Ready to seek after God for peace, wholeness, completion, and maturity?