Thursday, September 03, 2015

September 3, 2015:  Pursuing Perfection Can Be Tyranny

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 245

Devotional Song:  … GO TO THIS LINK … Please take the time to once again take in a video of images from Phillips, Craig, and Dean singing the song I Want To Be Just Like You reminding all parents, no matter how fallible we are - and must admit we are - that our pursuit of Christlikeness is a worthy pursuit; but it must be tempered with the reality of who we are as humans.

The Tyrannical Pursuit of Prideful Perfection   

Highlight Passage:   1st John 1: 8-9 [NKJV]  …
8 If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. 9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 
… We must never con ourselves - or others - into thinking that we’re perfect or sinless. 
Highlight Context – 1st John 1:5 - 2:2 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK  …  
…  The pursuit of perfection is self-inflicted torture

Reference Passage #1 - Isaiah 53: 6 [NKJV] … 
6 All we, like sheep, have gone astray. We have turned everyone to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. 
… Jesus came to save us from our selves.

Reference Passage #2 - John 14: 21 [NKJV] … 
21 He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” 
… Jesus tells His disciples of our duty to keep His commandments so that He can manifest Himself in/through us.

Reference Passage #3 - Romans 3: 23 [NKJV] … 
23 … for ALL have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. 
 … The translation for the Greek word “ALL” … means ALL … Not SOME … but ALL !!!

Reference Passage #4 - Ephesians 4: 1-2 [NKJV] … 
1 I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, 2 with all lowliness and gentleness, … with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, 3 endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. 
… Yes, … we should do all we can, within our human limitations, to be like Chris. However, when we fail short of the mark and sin, … which we will, … we need to revert to the wonderful and hopeful truth of 1st John 1: 9 [see above] … to confess and be cleansed.

My Journal for Today:  Today’s Our Daily Bread author, Tim Gustafson, relates relates a tyrannical truth about those of us who like to be seen as “perfect” in the eyes of others. He writes: "As Christians, we may harbor unrealistic expectations of perfection for ourselves. But even if we can somehow manage the appearance of a flawless life (to others), our thoughts and motives are NEVER completely pure." 

 Wow! What a truth! And it hits me right up the side of the head with conviction. How about you?

 I’ve always been one who wanted to be seen as “Mr. Goody Two-shoes” in the eyes of others, especially those whom I admire. But the reality and truth of God’s own word in Isaiah 53: 6 and Romans 3: 23 takes me down to the real world. Yes, I am a forgiven saint in Christ; but in this life, I’m never going to achieve perfection.

 Yes, it is a good thing to pursue the perfection or CHRISTLIKENESS and to attempt to be like Him (see John 14: 21), … especially when our kids and grandkids will try to be just like their parents and grandparents … as Phillips, Craig, and Dean sing in the attached song above. But when our imperfection surfaces - and it will - we should admit our failures, confess them to God and others; and then to go on pursuing Christlikeness.

 That’s my prayer today.

My Prayer Today:  Oh, my Lord, … Help me to be like You; … and to confess when You show me I’m not.  … Amen

Blogger Note:  Everyday during this year, my daily devotional blogs are influenced by the reading and study of the online devotional blog entitled Our Daily Bread, distributed online via email by RBC Ministries.  If you GO TO THIS LINK on the date of my blog, you can read/study the ODB blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

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