The catch phrase ‘nobody’s perfect’ seems to have been introduced into the Christian church by a secular society. This idea or philosophy speaks of human frailty and an inability to always get things right. This is a great comfort to the clumsy, the careless and ignorant, which we all can be at times, no doubt. Yet, how this phrase has found its way into the church and upon the lips of almost every Christian is bewildering. It’s a mystery to me how it has snuck into the vocabulary of God’s people and God’s kingdom. Now, tucked away in our sermons is theology that has been coated by humanism and the world.
When the secular or the unsaved use this phrase, they are merely reflecting or describing our humanness, representing the fallible and flawed characteristics of an imperfect creation. After all, we know ‘to err is human’. This indeed is true and every Christian would confidently confirm and claim this to be accurate in their own life. Isn’t this the reason we need Christ? We have made many mistakes that have brought about great consequences. When the Bible speaks about being perfect, ‘be you perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect’, is it implying we will no longer make any mistakes or any errors? Is it suggesting we will and must always achieve the correct answer to complicated calculations? Will we always present work that is without spelling or punctuation mistakes? One only needs to judge this article to prove that’s not the case! Of course, all these mistakes we will do and more, for we’re ever learning and in order to keep progressing, mistakes enable us to develop and move toward greater growth.
But, with what definition or in what manner is this term welcomed and used in the context of the spiritual life? How has it managed to make its way into the church of God and why is it found among the jargon of Christians? Though we know man cannot be perfect according to the life in the flesh, such as have a memory that will not fail, a body that will not grow weary or diseased or even fail us miserably in regards to skills and abilities. Yet, one cannot make the same connection with life in the Spirit. When Jesus says be perfect like your Heavenly Father is perfect, He is giving us the standard of Holy living. Perfection like the Father. This is not, as some mistakenly assume, that He’s setting a bench mark that we cannot attain; nor is it suggesting that we should strive for perfection, while knowing miserably we won’t reach it. This indeed is a hopeless vision. No, rather He is encouraging us to pursue a perfect spiritual walk before His Father, like He did. Not perfecting those things pertaining to the flesh, like our physical strength or our mental capacity to recall knowledge accurately or retain information perfectly, (in which areas we may improve and possibly demonstrate miracles); Indeed, in these things, we fail miserably and commit many errors and mistakes. Rather when it comes to spiritual matters of holiness and victory, the bible is clear that we are more than conquerors, the key word being ‘more’. Surely, when Jesus said it is finished, the work of the cross was perfect regarding my salvation.
Let’s make no mistake about the implications in a Christian’s thinking and life of the phrase ‘nobody’s perfect’ used in secular society. This is a great deception in the church. It seems to me that the way to holiness has been covered by thorns and thistles to deter people from the path of true and complete righteousness through Christ.