Every once in awhile one comes upon a quotation that tastes so good. Today I read the following from John Steinbeck and my mind won’t let it go. He wrote, “And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.”
Some of the most miserable people I have ever known are people obsessed with being perfect. Often they are so very hard on themselves that it spills over into their being hard on others. Self-introspection is good to a degree but like all things it can get out of balance. Either they never learned or somewhere along the way forgot that Jesus is our perfection. It is a gift of His grace. Yes, I know about Jesus comment in the Sermon on the Mount, “Be ye therefore perfect as you Father in heaven is perfect.” It is a grand goal. But it is not a goal designed to make us miserable over what we have not obtained. Paul wrote, “I don’t mean to say I am perfect. I haven’t learned all I should even yet, but I keep working toward that day when I will finally be all that Christ saved me for and wants me to be.” Philippians 3:12 The Living Bible
So there it is. Press toward the goal. But don’t make yourself miserable thinking you will not be saved if you don’t make it. Guess what. You won’t make it. So relax. As Steinbeck says be a good person. Being a good person is a great way to live. Being good doesn’t mean you will not err. I committed a big error today. I will not tell on myself. But I knew. And it did not ruin my day. I will just work on it without thinking it disqualified me from eternal life.
Written by Roger Bothwell on December 11, 2014
Spring of Life, PO Box 124, St. Helena, CA 94574