I was a naive freshman in college, walking around with a load of books on my back and a new, strange world of possibilities in front when someone posed this question to me:
“Do you think it’s possible for us to be perfect and without sin? Even for just one second? Like maybe when you’re in the middle of worshipping God?”
That someone was my small group leader, an outgoing, assertive girl two years older than me. We were sitting in her apartment, along with a couple of other freshman girls, talking about the Bible. The discussion was interesting, if not ordinary, until that question popped up.
There was silence, and something in my brain or heart didn’t feel right about her theory. I had sat through enough sermons and Sunday school lessons to know that the whole point of Jesus dying on the cross was to save us from our sins. If we could be perfect for even a second, why would we need to be saved? Couldn’t we then try a little harder to be perfect until we got good at it? That’s a rhetorical question of course. Even if we did everything we possibly could think of, or didn’t do anything at all, we still wouldn’t get any closer to perfection.
Because perfection is not a feeling or an act or thought or even a state of being. It’s more an essence, something intrinsic, and at the core.
But the thing is, even though we can’t achieve perfection, we’re always on the quest for it. We want the best results at school or work, we want the ideal marriage, we want the healthiest kids. We even want the cleanest and shiniest produce at the grocery store. (Tell me I’m not the only one who inspects a dozen pieces of fruit before picking the “perfect” one. LOL)
Image courtesy of digidreamgrafix/freedigitalphotos.net
Why then do we have an obsession with perfection? Maybe because we were made to appreciate beauty. To be drawn to wholeness. To desire goodness.
Perfection isn’t a bad thing. But when we look around at the world, and the people in it, and especially ourselves, we see quite the opposite. There’s a lot of imperfection out there and there’s just as much in us, too.
Sounds pretty hopeless, doesn’t it? But it isn’t.
It’s a good thing we can’t be perfect and without sin. Not even for one millisecond. Because the burden to be perfect would be too great. It would crush us. Instead, it crushed the only Perfect One who took our place on the cross. That’s the perfection of the Gospel. That’s why tomorrow is Good Friday and Easter Sunday is even gooder. 🙂
Perfection isn’t the enemy. But if we’re going to pursue perfection, may we pursue Jesus, the only one who can make us whole.
Take a listen to Tori Kelly’s song, “Hollow”, which she has described (when she was a guest mentor on The Voice) as her prayer to God. I love these lyrics:
“I confess my weakness
Till you pick up the parts that are broken
Pour out your perfection on me now”
What have you been chasing in your quest for perfection?
Welcome to my 3 step release party for my newest book baby, Drawn To You! 😀
Step 1: Please help yourself to some virtual goodies while you read an excerpt from my book.
Image courtesy of John Hritz from Ann Arbor, MI, USA (Flickr) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Wanted: A man who can handle his alter ego. Quick reflexes recommended.
Feisty and adventurous, art teacher Sam Koo is used to getting what she wants, including talking her way out of traffic tickets. When it comes to money matters though, she’s a lost cause. Her studio is in trouble, and there’s no way of charming herself out of this mess.
Police officer Lucas Choi is the last person she expects to rescue her. Handsome and rule-abiding, he was the best—and worst—part of her high school experience. When they meet a decade later, he’s still on her case and quick to point out her flaws.
Their differences drive each other crazy, but also draw them closer. The attraction is tangible, yet so are Sam’s fears. Will she choose to protect her heart or trust the only man who ever rejected her?
“I hope you know you can’t sweet talk your way out of everything, Sammie Koo.”
Sam’s ears perked up. Where had she heard that line before? Pursing her lips, she took a good look at the officer. Jet black hair. High cheekbones. A dimple in his chin. There was something familiar about him, particularly that dimple. If only she could see his eyes. “Do I know you? No one calls me Sammie anymore.” Her eyes roamed over his well-defined chest and over his name tag again. “Choi. Wait a minute. Lucas Choi, is that you?”
The officer lowered his sunglasses onto the bridge of his nose. “Hey, Sammie. It’s good to see you, too.”
Her jaw dropped when she met his gaze. Those eyes. She would recognize them anywhere. Brown irises so light in color that they had flecks of green and gold in them. Once upon a time those eyes, so uncommon for an Asian, made her envious, but now they completely infuriated her. Judging from his haughty expression, she could tell he was taking way too much pleasure in tormenting her. It figures he went into law enforcement. Mr. Goody-Two-Shoes loved nothing more than following the rules and making those who didn’t pay for it.
Not much had changed since the last time they crossed paths, except that she had her hands free today. She looked around for something to throw, settling for a fistful of candy wrappers, and tossed them at him. “How long were you going to mess with me? I can’t believe you let me beg you for mercy! Stop wasting my time. I know you want to write me up, so do it.”
He brushed off an orange Kit Kat wrapper stuck to his pressed shirt. “Hey now, settle down, Firecracker. I could arrest you for assaulting an officer.”
Heat flared from her neck up to her cheeks, likely causing her complexion to match the red highlights in her hair. Oh, how she hated his nickname for her. “Oh, please. Assault you with what—paper cuts? Or maybe the overpowering aroma of chocolate? If you want to arrest me, Squealer, go ahead. It’s not the first time you got me put in handcuffs.”
“Now, now, there’s no need for name-calling, Miss Koo. We’re both adults here.”
“You started it.” Sam wrinkled her nose at how juvenile she sounded. Why did he have to bring out the worst in her? And how did he manage to look so cool and composed? It wasn’t fair. She swiped at some wisps of hair that were stuck to her damp forehead. “I don’t know why you enjoy tormenting people. What did I ever do to you?”
“Someone has a short-term memory. Need I remind you that you left me to do all the experiments in chem class and then tried to copy my answers? We weren’t assigned as lab partners so you could flirt with the jocks while I did all the work.”
“Ah! I see what’s going on. You were jealous.”
“Of all the attention I got. Admit it. You’re still jealous I got elected Student Body President and you didn’t.”
“You got lucky. There were more guys than girls at school. Of course they voted for the prettier candidate. It was a no-brainer.”
Sam covered her open mouth to feign shock. “Did you just say something nice about me? What’s the catch, Lucas? Do you have a hidden police cam on you?”
“I said you’re prettier than me, but we both know I’m the more handsome one. Let’s not forget who got crowned Homecoming King.”
A genuine smile crossed Sam’s face for the first time that day. Lucas was still as charming as ever, in an annoyingly appealing kind of way. “You’re still such a dork. We both won that night. I was Homecoming Queen.”
“I remember. It was the one time we didn’t try to kill each other.”
“You almost maimed me with your gigantic lead feet. Come on, how hard is it to slow dance without stepping on your partner’s toes?”
“Apparently, very hard when the girl doesn’t allow you to lead.”
Sam crossed her arms and faked a laugh. “Ha! You just don’t know how to handle a strong, independent woman.”
***This novella is part of the Taking Chances series, but each book in the series is a STANDALONE book.***
Can love overcome the past?
Can love be colorblind?
Can love embrace differences?
Step 2: Enter my Release Party Giveaway!
ENTER TO WIN a $25 Amazon Gift Card (Open Internationally)
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