By Megan Lacourrege
If you were to think of the ideal or perfect person, what comes to mind? Is it someone who is tremendously beautiful or is really smart? Is it someone who has a magnetic personality who captivates a room with their charisma? Is it someone who has wealth and the things they desire?
For me, for the longest time, I thought that being a perfect person meant trying to meet the standards of other people so that they always thought good things of me. I wanted to be well-liked. But this can become problematic quickly. What if fulfilling another person’s standard means sinning?
Over time, I’ve had to challenge myself to leave the binds of false human standards to follow God’s will in my life. But that also means that I’ve had to let go of the desire to be treated kindly or respectfully. That certainly hasn’t felt ideal, but I often have to consider how Jesus, the ultimate perfect person, lived his life.
Jesus was, by no means, perfect in the way that many human beings choose to define perfection. He was a poor man who lived a quiet life until his public mission. Once he began to share the Good News, he was treated poorly by those who felt that he was not fulfilling their standards. That included the Pharisees and even his own family. And, far from ideal, he was arrested, beaten and taken to the cross, stumbling and falling several times on the way there.
This is the example we are given of perfection. It is not a false perfection, believing that, somehow, we can be sufficient on our own. It doesn’t promise that people will like us. On the contrary, true perfection comes when one unites themselves wholly to God’s will, no matter the cost.
Those who reach this point refuse to sin, making their entire lives a pure sacrifice to God.
Jesus dared to tell us in the Scriptures, “So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.” And, I truly believe that it is in following this command that we can find true peace, joy and fulfillment in this life and the life to come.