Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Grace vs. Perfection

Someone left an anonymous note on my desk yesterday: Hold yourself to a standard of grace, not perfection.


It makes me wonder a handful of things. 
Does whomever left me this note think that I'm striving for perfection and lacking in accepting grace? Or was it merely just a word of encouragement as I have a lot of responsibility on my plate and they fear me focusing too much on having to do everything just right? Am I reading too much into it and someone was just being a 'note fairy' and that's the random quote of the day that landed upon my desk? 

Either way, the words are there. I can't decide if I'm more intrigued by the phrase or by who left it. 

I suppose I don't even know what it means to hold myself to a standard of grace.  What is that standard, anyway? Does that mean holding myself to a standard of always extending grace... or maybe always being willing to receive grace? Does it essentially mean that I'm going to screw up and it's okay because of grace? 

What, then, do I do with verses like 'Be perfect, therefore, as your Heavenly Father is perfect'? While I think, in context, Christ is talking about perfection in love... it seems like my standard might need to be perfection sometimes. 

Can I simultaneously hold myself to a standard of both grace and perfection? 
A standard where I'm striving for perfection, but still allowing grace to enter in because I ultimately know that I'm not perfect? Can there be a balance? 

I think maybe there can be. 
That sometimes we, as Christians, (if we're not pretending to be perfect) can exist in this place where the opposite is more desirable. That we sing of imperfections and the impossibility of being anything other than imperfect beings, that we automatically disregard the call on our lives for holiness, for purity, for perfection. We live in defeat because we can't ever get there...

And maybe the deal is that we can't.  We can't because Christ is so necessary for anything good to flood out from us... but the point is that we are still striving. We're still training for the race, we're still putting on the armor to prepare for battle, we're still turning from sin and standing firm in freedom. We are still diligent. 

In the standard of perfection, there must be grace. In the standard of grace, there's no room for perfection. Yet, we must seek both. 

Wrestle with that for a while. 

If you profess Christ as your Savior, it would seem that you are called to live a life that his holy and pleasing to God. Will you fail...? Yes. Grace. Do you keep trying? Yes. 

For as much as Christ depicts grace for us, He also is the epitome of perfection. And isn't HE who we are striving to be like?  

Balance. It's vital. 

* * *

Your entries will remain anonymous

No comments:

Post a Comment