Scripture Reading: Psalm 103:1-22
“The LORD is merciful and gracious; he is slow to get angry and full of unfailing love. He has not punished us as we deserve. For his unfailing love toward those who fear him is as great as the height of the heavens above the earth.” (Psalm 103:9-10 NLT)
During my tenure as teacher of fifth and sixth grade boys and girls I found that some would get very distraught when they saw a red mark on their papers. I remember telling them “nobody’s perfect” that’s why they put erasers on pencils. I remember one day a student raised his hand and said, “Mr. D (that’s how they addressed me) why do you keep saying “nobody’s perfect?” His question gave me the opportunity to explain the problem of sin and its consequences. I further explained that only Jesus, who possessed a human nature apart from a sin nature is perfect.
I think of all the great Old Testament patriarchs and can’t find one who was perfect. Abraham was called the friend of God, but he committed the sin of lying on two different occasions. Moses was God’s chosen deliverer, but he failed to enter the promise land because of a temper tantrum. By striking the rock instead of speaking to it as God directed, he impugned the character of God and forfeited his chance of entering the land that God promised. David, a man after God’s own heart committed murder. Samuel, a great prophet, failed to raise his sons in a godly manner. Elijah ran from Jezebel out of fear and doubt. Isaiah admitted that he was a man of unclean lips. Jacob was a schemer and deceiver. We could give example after example of godly individuals who were righteous, but not perfect.
The New Testament is not without imperfect people. Matthew, one of Jesus’ early disciples was a tax collector and cheated his people. Peter, a spokesman for the twelve disciples, denied he knew the Lord and cursed his name. Judas, the one who kept the bag of money was a thief and betrayer of the Lord. Paul received a thorn in the flesh to prevent him from committing the sin of pride. Thomas was a doubter. The chief priests, scribes, Sadducees and Pharisees hated Jesus and plotted to kill him because he said he was God.
All those who had received Jesus Christ as Savior are not perfect, but have been declared righteous. The Apostle Paul states it best in Romans 1:17; “The righteous shall live by faith.” Even though we are not perfect we do have a heavenly Father who is perfect. He understands our weakness; he knows we are dust. (Psalm 103:14)
Are you striving for perfection? Even though we won’t reach a perfect state until we enter heaven’s gates, we can make every effort to live godly lives and practice righteousness.
Prayer: Dear Lord, you know I am not perfect, but you are willing to forgive my sins when I confess them to you. Help me to live a godly life before others in this imperfect world.