18 Mar Be Perfect As Your Heavenly Father Is Perfect!
Be Perfect As Your Heavenly Father Is Perfect!
In the current society, the face of perfectionism is tied to our performance, our usefulness and our presentation. This weaves in an unconscious yardstick within us of what it means to be acceptable. But our true figure of perfection, God, has something else to tell us.
- “Culture of Perfectionism” – everything is measured and benchmarked
- Rise of Social Media > desired to be accepted
- Unconsciously, we are convinced that, to be acceptable, we need to be measured up to a personal or societal standard of perfection.
- Lost sight of Biblical Perfection.
‘Perfectionism is self-abuse of the highest order’.
Perfectionism dehumanises us: it equates our value to our performance, our identity to our usefulness and our beauty to our presentation. How can it be tolerated alongside a gospel of grace?
Verses to Read:
38 As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. 39 She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. 40 But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” 41 “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “You are worried and upset about many things, 42 but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
1. PITFALLS OF PERFECTIONISM
a) Relationship with God
- Vicious cycle: less reliance on God > see lesser of His leading & guidance > distance away from God > less reliance on God
(can visualize this part)
- Perfectionists fuelled by Pride (enemy of God)
- Man’s approval > God’s approval
- Less thanksgiving
- Fight for “own blessings”
- Unwillingness to trust God in our imperfections
b) Relationship with Self
- Crave for others’ acknowledgement (man’s acceptance)
- Always living before man
- Live in deceit (unreal), hidden sins
- Insecure: not assured in God-given identity
c) Relationship with People
- Tasks > People
- Easily judge and criticize
- Lacks grace and forgiveness
- Trust only themselves
d) Relationship with the World
- Grow more attached to the world
- Temporary > Eternal
- Relative > Absolute
- Visible > Invisible
- Don’t live like foreigners, but more & more like citizens
2. BE PERFECT AS YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER IS PERFECT!
*Perfect = “Teleios” = Completed
a) God’s Absolute Perfection
- God’s character is perfect
<Deu 32:4> He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.
- God’s ways are perfect
<Ps 18:30> As for God, his way is perfect: The Lord’s word is flawless; he shields all who take refuge in him.
- God’s law is perfect
<Ps 19:7> The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul. The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy, making wise the simple.
- God’s peace is perfect
<Is 26:3> You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast, because they trust in you.
b) Perfect (Complete) in Christ
- All of us have missed the mark, unable to save ourselves.
- We can only perfect (complete) in Christ.
- Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross, 33 years of living example daily strength in all our fields
- Our relationship with God: Father-Son
- Our relationship with Self: Child of God
- Our relationship with People: God-given (Blessed)
- Our relationship with World: Prepare us for Kingdom
c) We are Imperfectly Perfect
- Imperfect saints fill the entire bible
- Imputed perfection, not by our own efforts
- Give thanks for our imperfections because:
i) Imperfection Reminds
ii) Imperfection Drives
iii) Imperfection Allows
- <2Cor 12:10> For when I am weak, then I am strong.
3. RESTORATIONS TO PRAY FOR
a) Restore God as Master
- <Isa 55:8-9> “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. 9 “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.
b) Restore Rest in God
- <Mt 11:28-30> 28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
c) Restore Life Purpose
- Clear life purpose > Right priorities
- <Mt 6:33> Seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness.
d) Restore a Fellowship of Love
- environment to struggle with imperfections and sins
- <James 5:16> Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.
- Manifest God’s glory and grace in each other’s imperfections
- Do you think you are a perfectionist? Why?
- Which pitfalls can you most relate to as someone who has perfectionist tendencies? Why
- Out of the 4 restorations, which of them are you most convicted of? Why?