Just Perfect

In 2009, I wrote in the first PrayFit book that "our pursuit of health isn't about perfection, but about obedience and discipline. It's about progression." Over the last couple of years that line and versions of it have been used in many an Instagram image. Well, pulling that book off the shelf today - blowing the dust off of it I admit - was a neat exercise for me. So many lines and pages in that first book I wouldn't dare say today. Isn't that funny? But that's for another time and place.

Anyway, back to that line about perfection and obedience. Something I read by Pastor Tullian recently made me think of it. He wrote, "
 

When your meaning, your significance, your security, your protection, your safety are all riding on you, it actually feels like slavery. Life is harder and heavier when the things we crave the most depend on our “making it happen.” When we equate our value with some attribute or ability (what others think of us, how much is in our bank account, our relative stature in our community) so that without that attribute or ability we cease to matter, life is harder, not easier. We become weary and heavy laden.
— Tullian Tchividjian

It's upside-down from our pursuit of health in many ways, right? At least in some cases (and for at least a while) health and fitness is about progression, consistency and effort. All things I completely support and endorse if you have the gift of ability. But such adjectives aren't congruent with the life of a believer. Why? God's law demands absolute perfection; utter flawlessness, unblemished, untainted, pristine perfection. Live a perfect life and you get to go to Heaven. The standard is the highest standard that has ever been set. But because we can't even begin to describe how miserably we can actually describe how bad we miss it, God sent His Son. If our future in Heaven were similar to our pursuit of health - dependent upon our ability to stay consistent, be progressive and our continuous unwavering effort - we'd be in trouble.  Tullian continues: 

So, the Christian life is a progression. But it’s not an upward progression from weakness to strength—it’s a downward progression from strength to weakness. Christian growth is not, “I’m getting stronger and stronger, more and more competent every day.” Rather, it’s “I’m becoming increasingly aware of just how weak and incompetent I am and how strong and competent Jesus was, and continues to be, for me.”

When it comes to our bodies, I'll continue to teach progression, consistency and effort. But when it comes to our souls - my soul - I choose perfection. Since Jesus is perfect and God sees Him not me. 
 

Jimmy Peña

 

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