We had a funny conversation in our Bible study group last night. Not funny "ha ha" but funny "huh?" And it wasn't really a conversation, it was me trying to make a point and realizing I went in a circle and didn't have an obvious conclusion. I'd like to take another stab at it.
1. God created us in His image.
2. No one is perfect except God/Jesus Christ.
3. We are not perfect.
4. We are perfect creations of God.
If God is perfect, and what he creates is perfect, we are perfect. But we are not perfect.
From James 3:2 "We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check." It doesn't say this is achievable, but it is certainly a noble goal.
And from James 3:7-9 "All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness." (We are so irritating to one another!)
When Jesus began to preach, he challenged us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. He pointed out that it's easy to love the people we like. The challenge is to love the people who are "difficult". He summarized with "Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect." (Matthew 5:48)
Although we are not perfect, we have to strive for perfection. Perfection is modeled for us in the form of Jesus, the one who is without blemish or defect (1 Peter 1:19).
I've been enjoying a period of great blessing, clearly uplifted and carried by the Holy Spirit. And yet, I am left wondering why the guy in front of me insists on traveling in the fast lane if he's not even going the speed limit!!!
Lord, thank you for reminding me that I am not perfect.
P.S. For many years I practiced spiritual/emotional self-flagellation of the "I'm not worthy" variety. One of the many blessings of this life is to know that we are all worthy.