Perfectionism. God calls us to be like Him, or to try our best. We are made to be flawless perfect, as we see Adam and Eve were before the Fall. We were made to be free, happy and loving, reflections of God in this world. Imago Dei, created in the image and likeness of God, and seeing as God is perfect in every which way, we show pieces of this love and grace through living our lives as God has called us to do. How then are we to become more like God, inch closer to perfectionism?
Today's Gospel states:'"You have heard that it was said, `You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven; for he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you salute only your brethren, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You, therefore, must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect' (Matthew 5:43-48).
God is awesome, so awesome in fact that He gave us the opportunity, the freedom, the chance to live in this world, to exist as part of His creation and to seek Him. Through living in a sinful world, it can be difficult to accept this gift of love and we stray from our purpose. However, what are some ways we can become better people of God, and work towards perfection? The Gospel tells us that we must love our enemies, to pray for those opposing us, especially those who do not yet know God. We are equals with the tax collector and the Gentiles, as we are all sinners, all imperfect in some way, for only God is perfect. Therefore, to become closer with God, we must work on ourselves, on individual prayer and worship, but also focus on our neighbour, that they may come to know God through us.
Today's prayer comes from 'Crosswalk' a prayer for progress over perfection:
Dear Lord, You made me for good works. You gave me the desire to always learn and grow in my ability to love You and my neighbors. Help me to make progress on my goals each day and not to worry about the conclusion that you may bring out of that obedience. Remind me regularly that your conclusions of every matter will always bring fruit even though the conclusion may be different than I was thinking. Your ways are above my ways. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.