I don’t know how many perfectionists are out there but, if it is a disease, I am afflicted.
I can have my car detailed, have the paint polished to a clay-bar finish, and the interior spotless, but my eye will go straight to the door ding I got in the grocery store parking lot. And that ding will bother me until it is pulled out by the ding doctor.
This is confession time, right?
I once had a beautiful light grey VW Touareg that got keyed in the church parking lot, down the middle of the right rear door and fender. The scratches were so deep that those sections of the car had to be repainted.
I called around to find the best body shop in our region.
Waited for weeks for them to fit me in.
Only for the car to come out a different shade of grey on the door and fender.
They painted a second time, or at least said they did… but in the end I had a two-tone grey Touareg on the right side.
I tried to just ignore it for the next six months but couldn’t do it.
I traded it in for a smaller and older VW Passat.
This malady is not always easy for the people around me.
A business consultant and friend told me, back when he was coaching me, that I needed to learn how to be satisfied with 80%. Not sure I can do that.
So, when I read the Bible talking about people being blameless before God, I am pretty confident that rules me out.
* “Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time.” Genesis 6:9
* In Genesis 17:1, God tells Abraham to “be blameless.”
* In 2 Samuel 22:24, David tells the Lord that he has been “blameless.”
* God tells us that Job was blameless in the first chapter of Job’s story.
* “No good thing does God withhold from those whose walk is blameless.” Psalm 84:11
* “An elder must be blameless…” Titus 1:6
To make matters even worse, some Bible translations, like the American Standard Version, render the English word in many verses like these as “perfect.”
Well, clearly, I am disqualified, because I am pretty sure my life is NOT blameless, nor am I perfect.
Not even close!
For years I read over verses like these and would not spend much time with them. They were completely unattainable for me.
Until a friend, and former seminary president, Dr. Steven Land, enlightened me on the meaning of the word translated “blameless” or “perfect” in Scripture. Dr. Land said the word means completeness, wholeness and integrity of purpose.
Let’s use your phone as an example.
It may have a cracked screen and scratches on the case… but if it still fulfills the functions and purpose created by its designer and manufacturer, it is blameless.
If it still sends and receives texts you can read and calls you can hear… it is perfect, in spite of its cracks and scratches.
It is not about appearances but Kingdom purpose.
Applied to you and me… if you are functioning in the plans and purposes God gave you when He called you and drew you to Himself, you are blameless and perfect in His sight, just like Noah, Job and Paul – cracks and scratches notwithstanding.