Are You Perfect Yet?
Well what’s wrong? You’re a competent, capable person. Why don’t you just stop doing the wrong things, and do only the right thing from now on?
Do you ever wonder why you keep making the same mistake, choosing the same wrong behavior, repeating the same old pattern that you yourself don’t approve of? If so, you’re not alone. This human problem has been perplexing people as long as there have been people. In the bible, the apostle Paul expresses this in his letter to the Romans (chapter 7, verses 15-25), this very thing. He basically says, “I don’t understand myself! I keep doing what I hate, and not doing what I should do!”. Sound familiar?
I think it’s useful that Paul doesn’t name a particular sin. Rather, he just expresses his exasperation that he keeps violating his own conscience. We are left to fill in the blank with our own thoughts of what his, or our, struggle is.
I am convinced that every single sin in man originates from one central false belief. It is a false belief common to all men, although its manifestations vary from person to person. It is responsible for all greed and envy, for all lust and hatred, all lying, deceit, laziness, gluttony, pride, wrath. All evil.
This false belief is the belief that I, not God, am the most important thing in the universe. Although few people would make that statement verbally because of how absurd and arrogant it sounds, most of us demonstrate in our behavior and attitudes that this is our core philosophy.
It is the idolatry of self. That idea that everything is about me. Things should go my way. People should give me what I want and never disagree with me. I should be seen for my best qualities and my failures be overlooked. I should get full credit for my noble intentions when I do the wrong thing. I should not have to wait, not have to want, not have to suffer. Nothing bad or even inconvenient should happen to me. I should always be first, always be the best and get the best.
Needless to say, this is not what the Bible teaches.
The Bible gives me the bad news, and then the Good News.
The bad news is that I am dead in trespasses and sin. Everyone is. Dead people can’t rescue themselves, bring themselves to life, redeem themselves, heal themselves. They are utterly at the mercy of the only one who can. This is the reason that my “self” rebels! It’s pride is so offended by the truth of my helplessness that it refuses to have the only remedy. A gift that can save me.
The Good News is that God sent us a great and precious gift, His son Jesus, to do what we never can. This is God’s gift to us. A gift can’t be earned, it can only be either received or rejected. Most of us would like to think we can earn our place in heaven, but this can never happen. We must be humble enough to admit our need and ask our God to save us through His precious gift and our savior, Jesus. Trusting Jesus will not take away all temptation to sin, but it will give us growing hunger and thirst for righteousness. His perfect life and sacrificial death is my hope for now, and my assurance for eternity.
If you have never asked Jesus to save you, you can pray like this:
“Lord Jesus, I confess that I have a sinful heart, and can’t fix it myself. I have failed to do things I should do, and am guilty of doing things I shouldn’t. I have tried to find fulfillment in many things or people, and all of it has come up short. I know I need you. Please forgive my sin and save me. I trust you. Please let me feel your presence and know you love me. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen”