finding freedom in Perfection, Pride and Prejudice
be perfect. be. perfect. be. just be.
I am perfect. I am.
You are nothing. Without Me.
i am perfect. i say.
Bits and pieces of Jesus’ words in Matthew 5 saunter through my mind pacing leisurely around the room while I sit in the center, minding my own business, much like Mr. Darcy writing his letters, yet aware of the graceful stroll. Inwardly keen to the purposeful strut of Caroline bound to the flee spirit of her subject, Elizabeth. Outwardly seeming not apathetic, but rather preoccupied. I have better things to do. I am busy.
Jesus says, “Be perfect.”
This very line was the focal point of two of my favorite teachers of the word just this week. Jim Branch wrote a great blog about it that Chad shared with me, you can find by clicking here. And Tom Job spoke about it here. Perfection. You should check them out.
Two free spirited opinions bound with the purposeful confident words Jesus spoke to his disciples in the fifth chapter of Matthew, which I meditated on one morning this week at Chick Fil A. These three walked the room of my mind. One fully aware of His purpose, the other two oblivious, just being and joining. And I sat central at my desk. Working, loving my kids, loving my hubby, loving other kids, writing some, not cooking much, resting some, wrestling some. But still aware of the consistent drift, patiently awaiting my attention.
i stop. wait. listen. focus. breathe.
Be perfect, as your Heavenly Father is perfect. Blessed are the meek. Cut off your hand if it is bringing you trouble. Turn your other cheek. Be more righteous than the Pharisees if you want to get into paradise. Say simply yes or no.
i close my eyes tight. sometimes, Jesus, you are so… weird. odd. just not super friendly. but I would rather have an honest friend who loves no matter what than a pretty one that is sweet and hides her wounds. i am a wounded wretched mess.
You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Let your light shine forth so they can see your good deeds and glorify your Father in Heaven.
i feel that is pride. i am conflicted and confused. do i tell the world all my pain and lessons? i desire to be meek. pride has crushed me and i now see the evil that hides in it’s delightful skin. do i write more about what you are teaching me? i feel that is prideful.
Go to your people and tell them all the Lord has done for you. How He has had mercy on you. Let your yes be yes. Or no. But trust.
sometimes i like the gray.
Sometimes the gray is okay.
sometimes it’s not black or white or even a shade of gray. it’s just clear.
Do not swear an oath at all, it is the City of The Great King.
i am nothing.
You are nothing. without Me.
“Therefore be perfect, as your Heavenly Father is perfect,” - Matthew 5:48 (NIV, ESV, NAS, NLT, even KJV minus the ye)
“Therefore, be shlemim (complete), even as is your Av shbaShomayim.” (Orthodox Jewish)
(Arabic) فكونوا انتم كاملين كما ان اباكم الذي في السموات هو كامل
full = كامل / كاملين
Ἔσεσθε οὖν ὑμεῖς τέλειοι ὡς ὁ Πατὴρ ὑμῶν ὁ οὐράνιος τέλειός ἐστιν.” (Greek)
τέλειοι = perfect (masculine plural) you folks are
τέλειός = perfect (masculine singular) I am
teleios = fully-developed, mature, complete
Be mature and complete, not lacking in anything.
Consider it pure joy when you face trials… so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking in anything. (James 1:2-4)
Be perfect, dear child, as I am Perfect. Be who I made you to be. Be complete. Mature. Full. You know who you are because you know Me and I live in you. Trust me in you for I am perfect. Know yourself, your yes, your no. Know the hand that causes you to stumble and don’t use it. Know Me in the enemy that hits your cheek and turn to him your other side. Know the righteousness inside of you that is only there because of Me and praise your Father that He has made you clean. Know the righteousness and don’t be ashamed but show it to the world. Show your neighbor the light inside of you that shines more crisp because of our wounds. Be perfect. Just Be. This is freedom. Feel free to be you. And you, dear child, are meek and blessed.
i think i’ll look up meek tomorrow. or later than that if i’m truly honest.
and thank God for classic writers like Jane Austen who create such authentic characters that reveal the pride and longing of our own souls as we read their mistakes and confessions, and then celebrate their freedoms. and i thank God for wisdom from Tob Job and Jim Branch and my beloved Chad Oaks who are delightfully humble strong men.
Photo taken by Natalie Watson