How do you feel when you read this verse of scripture? “Be thou perfect.” I get the shivers. Walk before God and be perfect. Who? Me? Since God sees and knows all, we can’t even pretend to be perfect, we are doomed!! How could God demand us to be perfect?
Put your mind at ease, friend. Many years ago, I read a word study of the Hebrew word timshol done by Rabbi Kushner. The King James Bible translates tamin as “perfect.” The Revised Standard Version indicates “blameless.” These versions would mean that God expects us to always do the right thing and never sin. Contemporary scholars take the word tamin to mean something like “whole-hearted.” Rabbi Kushner says “this verse leads him to conclude that what God wants from Abraham, and us, is not perfection but integrity.” God wants Abraham to strive to be true to the core of who he is. When we sin, our good self is at war with our weak and selfish self. When we sin and ask for forgiveness, God offers atonement. Atonement means making our split self at one. Wholeness. We just need to do the best we can do and let God do the rest.
Colleen Fulmer, a composer and liturgist, uses her musical gifts to bring a sense of peace and empowerment to people. She writes, “I am enough, I am in God’s own image. I am enough, I am enough.”
Stop trying to achieve perfection—in your life, in your family, at work. Realize that just to be is a blessing, just to live is holy.
Speak this affirmation: I am a glorious creation of God. Celebrate your life. Linda