"Therefore be perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect." Now, we've heard this verse, say, a thousand times! And every time we're slightly discouraged...we're HUMAN! We CAN'T be perfect on this earth no matter how hard we try! (And to me, it feels like sometimes when we try too hard we mess up even more.)
But a couple days ago in chapel, Dr. Mark Fuller, a pastor at a Nazarene church in Ohio, spoke to us on this one verse, and the things that he discovered once digging deeper that make this verse more applicable to our human lives. Sounds crazy right? Just stick with me and you'll see where this goes...and it will blow your mind!
Dr. Fuller presented to us in chapel the the Greek word for "perfect" is "telios". It means, to complete, fulfill, accomplish, or make mature. When Jesus was on the cross and yelled, "It is finished!", that was the same word, telios. Finished...telios...perfect...what???
"If something is fulfilling it's created purpose, it is perfect!" To illustrate this point, Dr. Fuller brought up our vice president, Dr. Newmire. Dr. Fuller handed him a brand new baseball glove and they tossed a ball back and forth. Dr. Fuller's baseball glove was well worn and fit his hand perfectly. But both gloves fulfilled their purposes: to catch the ball that was thrown at them. Therefore, both gloves were "perfect".
It sounds bizarre doesn't? But it also makes sense...oh the wonderful almost-confusingness of Scripture.........
To live a perfect life is to live a life of single-mindedness. Philippians 3:7,8 say "But whatever were gains to me I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage, that I may gain Christ..." In these verses, Paul is basically telling us to know our purpose and to put EVERY FIBER OF OUR BEING into it!!
This is what it means to be perfect.
Sounds less daunting doesn't it?