God Isn't a Perfectionist
Bringing a spiritual perspective to daily life
Maybe you don't think about God too much. Or perhaps you picture God watching over you and "tut-tutting" at every little thing you do wrong. Sort of like having a hard-to-please parent who points out every mistake while barely noticing what you do right! But I've grown to learn that God is not like that at all.
God is perfect, but He isn't a perfectionist. A perfectionist, according to my dictionary, is one who seeks perfection. And God never seeks perfection, because God is the very source of perfection and can never be aware of anything less! He knows only the utter goodness of His spiritual creation.
At the pinnacle of God's creation is the true, spiritual man - the real identity of you and me and everyone. We are God's image. We never need to gain perfection. True, spiritual manhood and womanhood, sustained by God, is constantly perfect, healthy, and harmonious.
Perhaps you see daily life as remote from this description! "If life is perfect, what about sickness and hatred and misery?" you may ask. These make up an illusive, mortal concept of existence - a suppositional manhood and womanhood not of God's creating. Imperfect concepts of life are, one and all, ultimately invalid. They fade from our lives in proportion as we recognize our spiritual identity. "Perfection underlies reality," states the Christian Science textbook, written by Mary Baker Eddy. "Without perfection, nothing is wholly real. All things will continue to disappear, until perfection appears and reality is reached" ("Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures," Pg. 353).
Disease, immorality, unhappiness, lack, are all among those illusive elements that "will continue to disappear," until the spiritual, true concept of ourselves - the joyous, immortal, complete individuality we each have as the reflection of God - is universally gained and lived.
Christ Jesus, by his example, gave clear evidence of this identity. He proved sickness and sin powerless by healing them solely through spiritual understanding. The basis for Jesus' healing is recorded in the Holy Bible; according to Matthew's Gospel, Jesus said, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect" (5:48).
Prayer that brings our thinking into line with this Christly view of perfect Parent and perfect offspring enables us to heal as Jesus did. It may be that sickness, debt, fear for yourself, or difficult family affairs appear overwhelming to you. Or perhaps world issues seem threatening. Yet the spiritual truth is the underlying reality of your being at all times. Prayer to understand this contributes to healing. Revealing spiritual reality to us - existence as God knows it - prayer opens our thought to receive ideas from God for improving our lives and for benefiting others. It reveals a power for good that blesses all.
No, God's creation doesn't need perfecting. And the very fact of this is what promises an adjustment in our lives when something is less than perfect. When thought conforms to the divine reality, so does human experience. In this way, we are all perfectible.
God's law of good does consistently rebuke human mistakes, urging us to rectify them. And it also blesses constructive thinking and acting.
Human perfectionism is negative in that it isn't expressive of God's love. Because it imposes standards in a harsh, rigid, and unfeeling way, perfectionism is willful and ungodly. On the other hand, since healing is always possible through prayer and obedience to God's commandments, passive resignation to evil is never constructive. God's "good pleasure," said Jesus, is to give us "the kingdom" (Luke 12:32).
The goodness and the order that spiritual understanding produces supersede anything we could come up with through our own efforts. They benefit others. In many of the important decisions in my life - such as finding the right marriage partner, establishing a constructive career path, and making a living - I have found that refraining from rigidly deciding for myself what is best is very wise. Trusting God's wisdom to guide me has led to satisfying circumstances that I couldn't have crafted for myself. This has helped me see that, while God isn't a perfectionist, God is perfect!