Created to be complete, not PeRfEcT

Sitting down at my art table and painting while in worship is one of the most calming and also the most invigorating things I do in my life. When I feel the Holy Spirit move through my art, hear the words that are associated with the image, and fall deeper into the concepts of each piece, I am in a place of absolute ease. There is no second-guessing, no hesitation, there is only time spent in thought, in understanding and learning with our Father. I honestly wish I could spend more time there than I do.


For this line of jewelry, and other art yet to come, God gave me 4 words and each word came with questions to ask. With exclamation marks that grabbed my attention because they are things, the Holy Spirit has for me to talk about. The first word was

PERFECTION/ PERFECT

If you're anything like me, you grew up with an understanding that you were by no means " perfect". If you grew up in a Christian household you may have even been brought up in a church that impressed upon you the importance of being " without flaw". I grew up with the double whammy of being overweight and knowing that not only was I not physically perfect by the standards of society or the medical profession but that for whatever amount of " flawed " I was equated to the amount of loss I would have in my eternal life and I needed to strive to be... Perfect. The contradiction of that concept is that I was also taught that there was no way for me to ever BE perfect. Jesus was the only one that would / could/ ever would be found " perfect" but then I read verses like this:


Mathew 5:48... " Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."


Which sounds completely unfair. No matter what translation you read, there that word is...


PERFECT

New International Version

Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.


New Living Translation

But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.


English Standard Version

You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.


Berean Study Bible

Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.


Berean Literal Bible

You shall be perfect, therefore, as your Heavenly Father is perfect.


How am I supposed to be perfect, like God, if Christ was the only perfect one and I can NEVER be Christ, so can I ever be perfect? It's mind-boggling and I looked around in the world and found all these people, believers and non, judging themselves, JUDGING EACHOTHER and persecuting everyone under the guise of striving for perfection. Constantly analyzing themselves based on what THEY thought was perfect, or SOCIETY thought was perfect, what someone somewhere told them or even doing the opposite and throwing around phrases like " Progress not perfection" but it was still the same idea.


I'm not good enough as I am, I need to be better. I need to be different. I need to be as close to flawless as I can be. I need to be ideal.

But what does that even mean? And how do we judge what is " Flawless" or "Ideal"?

Let's break down these words.


Perfect (English)

Adjective

1. having all the required or desirable elements, qualities, or characteristics as good as it is possible to be.

2. absolute; complete (used for emphasis).


Hmmmm..... that doesn't say " flawless" It has nothing to do with quality or image or even standards. How did we come to an understanding of a word that simply means to be complete ( with no indication of what complete is.. but simply to be the finished product of something) and apply it to an entity that CONSTANTLY changes and has no standard finalized form? what is a complete human? if someone doesn't have arms are they no longer human? if they no longer have sight? what if they are in a coma and can't breathe for themselves? What if you die?.... when you die and can't function.. you're still a human.


Ok, so maybe the finalized human has to do with maturity? but children are humans.

does it have to do with mental/ psychological ability?... you are a human, a PERSON.. no matter what. So how can we judge what"required or desirable elements, qualities, or characteristics" are, if there are no REQUIRED elements? why do we feel like we are NOT perfect?


Let's keep going. Let's see if we can find the reason why we have this understanding of the word.


Verb

1. make (something) completely free from faults or defects, or as close to such a condition as possible.

Aha! There it is!


Let's think about this for a second. To MAKE something completely free from faults or defects... is NOT the same as BEING something completely free from faults or defects. Additionally, Where on earth did we get this idea that in order to be perfect, we are supposed to be "completely free from faults or defects" when the " TO BE" form of the words ( an adjective) does not say that? and what determines that!? Is it biblical?


Well, the bible wasn't written in English, was it? Let's see where this word shows up first and what the word originally was.

( I use the "Strong's Exhaustive Concordance" for this, but you can check out this link too. )


Genesis 6:9 -"These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God."


The word here is Hebrew תָּמִיםtâmîym, (taw-meem'); from תָּמַם (tāmam) entire (literally, figuratively or morally);

  • note: Literally, figuratively, or morally complete.

(as a noun) integrity, truth:—without blemish, complete, full, perfect, sincerely (-ity), sound, without spot, undefiled, upright(-ly), whole.

  • note: Truth with no trace of a lie. Integrity without a trace of deceit or unfairness.

So in this instance, we see that the word perfect meaning" without blemish", applies to the nouns " truth" and " integrity". It is expressing that the integrity and truthfulness of Noah were found whole and without blemish. Not necessarily his body, mind, or person. It's entirely possible that Noah had many other flaws, bad habits, dark thoughts, or difficulties but he was truthful and honorable in his actions and words.


I know what you're thinking, and if you are anything like me you're going to say:

But Kayla, It says that he was found perfect in his generations. That means, his familial line was perfect and without flaw.

Well, "Generations" here is דּוֹר (dôr) a revolution of time. Not תּוֹלְדוֹת (tôlḏôṯ): descendants, results, proceedings, generations, or genealogies. So in this verse, "generations" relates to the time that Noah lived. God found Noah's integrity flawless throughout his life, which is pretty incredible. Imagine never having told a lie, deceived someone, or been unfair about something.


Ok, Kayla, so that's ONE definition of the word; perfect. What about the others?

Funny you should ask....There are 22 words in the Hebrew Language that have been translated into some form of " Perfect" ( depending on part of speech and tense ) and 16 words in Greek.


Out of these, only 1 has any use outside of the concept of being Complet, In good health, giving the fullness of something or being to a point of completion as to be able to function as something/ someone was intended. Even then it can be used as a form of "complete" Additionally, the only standards that one could possibly judge "completeness" by, are the tenants of God ( via God himself or the prophets) / Christ.


tām : תָּם: perfect, complete

  1. complete, perfect

  2. one who lacks nothing in physical strength, beauty, etc


  1. sound, wholesome

  2. an ordinary, quiet sort of person


  1. complete, morally innocent, having integrity

  2. one who is morally and ethically pure

Note: the only time that scripture speaks about being perfect in the sense of lawlessness, is when speaking of morality/ethics/ following the tenants of God's law. In all other cases, perfect is used to talk about being complete, or something coming into completion.


So let's bring it back to :

Mathew 5:48... " Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."

Here the word used in Greek is:

Perfect (τέλειος)(Greek)

Adjective

1. brought to its end, finished. 2. wanting nothing necessary to completeness


When we are directed by God to be Perfect. We are being directed to be COMPLETE. We are not being told what that is, because for each of us " complete" means something different. It's not a standard that some have and others are striving to reach. It is an identity that we are BORN WITH and seeking to come into agreement with. Be ye COMPLETE... as your Father which is in heaven is COMPLETE.


All my Love- Kayla





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