In my thinking and thus in my teaching I work from a perspective of the perfect, the ideal, the best. That is, when I am thinking about marriage, for example, or even our general moral conduct, I see from Scripture how God created us and what He wants for our lives. I also clearly understand that we are not ideal people. We are sinful and living in a sin filled world. It is always necessary to meet people where they are. It is why Jesus spent so much time with the tax collectors and prostitutes. We need to meet people where they are, sharing as much love and grace as God give us the wisdom to do. But at the same time not forgetting the perfect. We are always seeking to move a step at a time toward God’s perfect will, and we rejoice with every forward step. We recognize that we are sinful, but the danger is lowering the standard rather than keeping our eyes on the goal, as St Paul says, “the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”(Philippians 3:14) We won’t be perfect in this life, but we continue to look toward the beauty, joy and goodness of all our Lord has for us.
This is not a perfect world. Nor are the things in our personal lives perfect. Boards for a project are not always flat. Kids don’t always behave. Things get put away in the wrong places. Computers crash, and you can add to the list of irritating imperfections. The problem is we want things to be perfect. We don’t want to deal with the irritations. It’s frustrating. But it is what it is, and our frustrations are not going to make things perfect. The only way to meet the imperfections of life is with a nature that is perfect. The only perfect nature is that which God, the Holy Spirit, works within us, that of “love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.”(Galatians 5:22-23) Of course, we don’t live in these attributes perfectly either, but think about it. If we were to meet the trials of life with more of these perfect characteristics, they would have a real power to change the present situation into something just a bit more perfect. We pray that the holy Spirit will work in all of the situations of life to form this fruit within us, and also the He will help us be open to His guiding hand.