The truest form of love is perfect. Perhaps one of the most misunderstood words in this part of the world, perfection is used to define everything from the latest gadget to the most effective household cleaner. As a country, we spend big to get what we’re told will increase our esteem, eliminate our weaknesses and maximize our position. The world’s greatest minds study at Ivy League universities to the tune of hundreds of thousands of dollars. The newest iPhone retails near $500 and inspires millions of R&D dollars. Homes and cars? Billions of dollars borrowed annually. Fashion and beauty? Trillions. We chafe under leadership that does not serve our interests. We rage against sports teams that do not live up to our expectations.
Perfection, defined by self-sufficiency, is thinly-guised arrogance, ugly since the one we’ve chosen to promote without blemish or flaw is….ME. You. Us. Our solution to the world’s suffering? Us. The world’s brightest potential? Us. Our shoulders sink low under the weight of debt and half-truths borrowed to build a case for our merit. An underlying fear fuels our compulsion by whispering, if not me, then…who? To suggest there may be another answer is to suggest we are not as sure or significant as we want to believe.
This pursuit of perfection reveals one thing – we haven’t got it yet or we’d be done trying. We cannot procure perfection simply because it’s not a commodity. We can’t tack on another degree or pay for another upgrade. The world has chosen that perfection be defined by those who have the most, but God defines it by his very nature being love without sin. The only One who may bear the benchmark of perfection is God. We are thieves to steal this truth for ourselves.
Jesus was not clean or green. He did not take a position on either side of the political aisle. He literally owned nothing, instructing his disciples to travel without sandals or purse as well. He did not use the latest beauty products to primp each morning nor wear the most luxurious brand. He did not demand service. Though he embodied the God of the universe he claimed no entitlements, showing anger only at the injustice of others. Where we’ve unashamedly promoted ourselves, Jesus blamelessly broadcasts his Father.