Why can’t anyone get things right? Do you find yourself saying that or at least thinking it? How hard can it be for an online shopping site to fulfill your order? Yet the package arrives with the wrong item or you’re charged twice for it. You take the car in for a brake job, and as you’re driving home from the shop, you hear a strange rattling sound coming from a front wheel. There are times when even someone who is normally very reliable may let you down. Why can’t people get things right?
The problem with being a perfectionist is that you are always going to be frustrated, not just with others, but with yourself too. No matter how careful, diligent, hard-working and talented you are, you are not perfect. No one is, for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
The lesson is not simply that we shouldn’t be so hard on others or ourselves. There is a deeper truth. If no one is perfect when it comes to the responsibilities of everyday life, what hope is there that we can make ourselves perfect before God? Still, there are many who believe that if they work hard enough, they can correct their faults, improve themselves morally, and earn God’s approval. No matter how well-intentioned, those efforts are doomed to fail. “Who can bring what is pure from the impure?” (Job 14:4). Trying to make oneself spiritually perfect leads to frustration, desperation, and eternal death.
Yet perfection is not an impossible goal. We can’t achieve it, but God in His grace provides it in Jesus. He was sinless and perfect in our place. He did away with our guilt by suffering for it on the cross. “For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of righteousness” (Is. 61:10). By faith in Jesus we are perfect before God. We couldn’t be better.
That doesn’t mean that we don’t strive to follow the Lord’s will or don’t care about correcting faults. Paul says, “Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men” (Col. 3:23). But we don’t have be frustrated when we fall short of perfection or fearful that our failures endanger our place in God’s family. We can take all our shortcomings to the Lord for forgiveness and renewed determination from the Spirit to live as God’s children. Let’s do that today and look forward to God’s gift of repentance and renewal tomorrow. Praise Him for Jesus’ perfection!
Yours in Christ,
Our fall schedule begins tomorrow: Services are at 8:00 and 10:30 a.m. Sunday school is at 9:15 a.m. and Bible class begins at 9:30 a.m. Sunday school teachers will be installed in first service.
Important Bible class topic: The adult Bible class will begin a review of what the Bible teaches regarding Christian fellowship, that is, with whom does the Lord want us to worship, and why He tells us to watch out for and avoid fellowship with false religious teachers. We will look at how and why the CLC was formed and where things stand now in our talks with two other Lutheran synods, the ELS and WELS. Everyone is welcome.