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How many of us have ever wanted to be perfect? How many of us have looked at “perfect people” or “perfect families” or “perfect situations” and desired things like these for our own? How many of us have mused that if we were in such situations, life would be easier or less painful?
Surely, some of us have had these thoughts…I know I have, at times. But these are lying thoughts, usually born primarily of envy–or, as Scripture describes it more bluntly, covetousness, our not being content with the things that God has been pleased to give us.
Another important question to ask ourselves is this: why do we want to be perfect? Why do we want to be in perfect circumstances? If it is from of a heart desirous of being good in order to honor our God and Father, that is one thing; but if this is not the case, or even if this longing is accompanied with the idea that if we were perfect or in perfect circumstances that life would be easier and there would be less pain in our lives, maybe we should think again.
Something that we sometimes forget is that even if we were perfect, we would still experience pain; for even Christ, the perfect Son of God, suffered pain. Indeed, his agonies were beyond what we, as creatures and sinners, can know. Even if we were already perfected while we walk this earth today, even then we would still experience heartache–the pain of the wise is just as deep as that of the foolish, if not more so.
For how many among those who are not submitted to Christ mourn with the Psalmist for the continual breaking of our Father’s law? “My eyes shed streams of tears, because people do not keep your law.” ~Psalms 119:136
How many among the people of the world weep with the prophet for the just judgments of God on his disobedient people? “Therefore I said: ‘Look away from me; let me weep bitter tears; do not labor to comfort me concerning the destruction of the daughter of my people.’ ” ~Isaiah 22:4
How many among the wise of the world are afflicted with the apostle for the sake of his brothers and sisters in the Lord? “For I wrote you out of much affliction and anguish of heart and with many tears, not to cause you pain but to let you know the abundant love that I have for you.” ~II Corinthians 2:4
How many in the kingdom of darkness are filled with sorrow for the unregenerate’s rejection of the Savior? “For many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, walk as enemies of the cross of Christ.” ~Philippians 3:18
Another good thing to remind ourselves of is that even if we were in “perfect circumstances,” we would still find ourselves encountering suffering, for we are in a fallen world. Because of sin–and not always even our own sin–pain, suffering, and death are unavoidable this side of glory. “For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now. And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved.” ~Romans 8:20-24
The search for perfection on this side of glorification is a futile hope and a vain search for believer and unbeliever alike. It has been attempted over and over and over throughout the history of mankind–only to repeatedly end in the mockery of mirage. In this sinful world there is and will be pain. Let us then rejoice in the hope that frees us–the hope of Christ Jesus our Lord, who is making all things new. (Revelation 21:5)
“For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death.” ~Romans 8:2