"So the LORD God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. After he drove the man out, he placed on the east side of the Garden of Eden cherubim and a flaming sword flashing back and forth to guard the way to the tree of life." Genesis 3:23-24
When was the last time you were accused of being perfect?
When was the last time you had a day where you did everything perfectly?
Can you remember a day when your thought and attitudes were perfect?
Do you know anyone who has?
If you are like me, you are perfectly and painfully aware of your imperfections.
So why do we look for the perfect partner, the perfect job, the perfect church, the perfect pastor, the perfect politician, the perfect child, the perfect golf swing, the perfect vacation or even a perfect night's sleep?
Being so flawed and imperfect, where does this nagging notion of perfection come from? Why do we long for perfection when we are incapable of achieving it?
The answer, like many answers about life and human nature, are found right here in Genesis. In this instance, look to the last couple of verses in Genesis 3.
We were created perfect by a Perfect God and placed in a perfect place in perfect relationships and hard-wired for perfection. The Genesis account tells us we were created in the "image of God". Perfection is a huge part of that image.
But, when perfection was not enough for Adam and Eve, they squandered it. Through the means of doubt, delay, deception and desire, they were made to believe that they could improve on perfection by replacing God.
When perfection wasn't enough, it was lost. Ever since Eden, we have longed for perfection. We have dreamed of recreating that paradise. Empires have been built trying to recapture paradise. "Isms" have been created and imposed with the goal of creating the perfect society and recrating paradise. We are still trying to create a world-wide utopia.
Until you understand how we were created, why God created us that way, what we have lost and why we lost it - you cannot understand this relentless inner yearning for perfection.
No wonder we get frustrated. Ever feel like this - "So I find this law at work: When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being I delight in God's law; but I see another law at work in the members of my body, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within my members. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death?" Romans 7:21-24
One strong evidence of the existence of God is that an imperfect race of people have within their consciousness a notion and a yearning for perfection. Where did that come from? It was wired into us by God. It is the remnant of a paradise lost.
So, are we doomed to live in frustration? Should we reject all notions and desire for perfection? Should we resign ourselves to our corrupt and fallen state? Should we pursue the deception that we can recreate a paradise on earth?
I have an idea!
Why don't you stop chasing perfection and seek the Perfect One? Don't mourn the Paradise lost, prepare for the better one He has gone to prepare for you. Give up on the concept of perfection and get to know the Person of perfection. Confess your imperfection to Him. Familiarize yourself with the Perfect Word of God. Read it regularly. Memorize it. Live by it.
Your need for perfection will either drive you or it will draw you. Let it draw you to Him. Begin today!
Sounds like a perfect plan to me!