“You just think you’re so perfect.”
Have you ever said this to someone or had someone say it to you before? Often these words arise out of frustration, jealousy, and feeling judged. Could it be that the accused is acting like they are perfect or better than anyone else? Perhaps. But so often, this person had no intention of coming across that way. So is it perceived by one person or does the person saying it have personal reservations of guilt or feeling lesser worth?
One of the issues we tend to have in life is always trying to measure up or just be better than so-and-so. But maybe that’s the problem in life. Maybe we’re comparing ourselves to the wrong standard.
Any Christian worth their salt will not only realize but also fully understand that they are not perfect – and quickly admit such. But what if they don’t? What if they seem to live in such a way that makes you feel “judged” or feel imperfect? Some would say that it’s wrong for Christians to live so as to make another person feel so unworthy or in a way that they don’t think they could ever measure up enough for God to want them. But are Christians really doing this intentionally or is this feeling only perceived?
Well…Let’s take a step back first. It might help to gain some perspective on the situation. Back when God placed Adam and Eve in the garden, God Himself was present in the garden with them. They were created perfectly, and were able to enjoy walking and talking directly with God, even in His very presence.
Then Satan entered the scene… More than just deceiving Eve, he was intent on destroying whatever God created and loved. And he succeeded, to a degree…at least for a time. He convinced Eve that she would know what God knows – and she and Adam got more than they bargained for! (Btw, let’s be clear on this… Eve may have been deceived by Satan, but Adam knew full well what he was doing when he chose to eat that fruit along with his wife.)
In Genesis 1:26, it says that God wanted to “make man in [His] image”. What does it mean to be made in God’s image? This is important to understanding the earlier questions we asked.
To be made in God’s image means that we have been given attributes that are like and similar to God’s. This is also why we find “good people” in the world around us, even among the non-Christians. God’s image is made up of love, joy, patience, holiness, justice, forgiveness, righteousness, kindness, goodness, trust, loyalty, faithfulness, strength, zeal, courage, mercy, grace, truthfulness, wisdom, understanding, and many, many more!
Every human being since the beginning has been given a “stamped” image of God’s qualities – they may be of varying degrees of each component, but many of God’s own qualities are there. The difference is that God’s attributes are perfect, while ours lack perfection. And the primary reason for this tarnishing is sin.
Sin separates us from God, but it also works to destroy and dismantle the image that God “stamped” in us when we were formed at our beginning – after conception and long before birth. Without God and a strong/solid connection to Him, this image that is part of us will continue to erode until it is gone. And this is where the problem begins.
You see, the standard of perfection is God and His attributes. When we compare ourselves to Him, we don’t measure up. And that’s the part that Christians understand, we need God’s righteousness and perfection so we can measure up to Him – and we can only find that in Christ and His salvation provision. And once a person becomes a Christian, they have just made a commitment to live more like God – like our Savior Jesus Christ – each and every day – but even this does not make a Christian perfect, except in God’s eyes through Christ.
If you’re still with me here, I am saying all of this to get to this point: A Christian striving to live like Christ is not focused on being better than you (at least they shouldn’t be); instead, they are focused on becoming better than they were yesterday or the day before towards the goal of becoming more like God in every way. And this goes towards reforging that initial image that God “stamped” in each of us into a new and perfect image once again.
You see, Christians are NOT perfect – not in the least – but we are forgiven by God of our sins and being remade into His likeness or image little by little each day. As a Christian myself, I will be the first to tell you that I am not perfect, not even close. I mess up and make mistakes every single day. Pick a day and I’ve made some kind of blunder that day – one that God would not be pleased with. But I try and I’m still trying to act more like Him every day – and that is the goal.
I’ve heard it said too many times: God doesn’t want anything to do with me. OR I’m not good enough for God to want me.
Nothing could be further from the truth! The reason non-Christians feel this way is often because of their past or because they think they aren’t as good as Mr. Christian over there. And you know what? This is Satan trying to deceive YOU this time. Your measurement or comparison should never be with someone else, but instead, with only Christ.
God knows our frame. He knows that “all of us have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). This is why Jesus came to earth to pay the price that sin demanded. He is the only perfect One and the only One who could have.
The truth is… Not one person on this earth – past, present, or future – can measure up to God or be worthy enough on their own (even one “tiny” sin disqualifies us).
The truth is… God has a plan and wants YOU – mistakes and all. It doesn’t matter what you have done in the past. The question is… Do you want forgiveness? Do you really want to be loved by the God of the universe? Do you want a chance of becoming perfect? He has the solution.
The truth is… Christians and non-Christians alike sin every day, but God will forgive Christians and cover them in His righteousness. Christians are perfect but only because of and in Christ – He makes all the difference.