"He is the way, the Truth, and the Life; that is, the Bridge which leads you to the height of Heaven."
Catherine of Siena, Dialogue
"Perfect" - Without defect or omission. Sound. Accurate. Absolute. To bring to completion. To finish.
1. What do I think it means to have a "perfect" life?
2. How can I have a "perfect" life?
"For no one can begin anything good unless (she) begins it from Christ. He is the foundation of all that is good."
Aelred of Rievaulx
Not long ago I was having a discussion with a close friend. We were expressing our frustration at the continual bombardment we receive on the television and in magazines about what is "wrong with us." My friend began our conversation by telling me that she was sick and tired of hearing how "women her age" needed to improve their appearance by using creams, colorings, lasers, and surgical knives if necessary.
"You know," she asked reflectively, "whatever happened to growing old gracefully?"
I retorted, "I guess that idea got dumped out with the garbage along with the notion that we can't be happy without the latest fashions on our bodies, the newest cars in our garages, and the fanciest and biggest houses on the block!"
"It's very easy to think that in order to have a "perfect" life, we have to buy into society's unending appetite for more and more!
And yet, it is quite obvious, as we watch business leaders, media icons, and celebrities stumble through the debris of broken marriages, drug addictions, and lost dreams scattered over the landscape of their lives, that the "perfect" life so often portrayed in living color by advertising moguls, doesn't bring us the joy, satisfaction, or purpose we long for.
Today, before we begin our study on David's fall from what seemed like quite a perfect life, I want for us to take a look at the word "perfect" and what it means from a Biblical perspective to be "perfect." I want to begin by looking at how the Apostle Paul says we are imparted with "perfect" living.
Let's not forget, in his youth Paul (whose name at the time was Saul of Tarsus) was being groomed as a leader in the Sanhedrin, the ruling council of religious leaders at the time. His star was on the rise. Then on a road to Damascus, when Saul was intent on destroying followers of Jesus, a voice and light from Heaven stopped him in his tracks. From this day forward, Paul (his God-given name) turned his back on his so-called "perfect" life to follow God on "the way of the cross. Let me tell you, Paul's new life was not easy. I wish I could say his problems disappeared and life was smooth sailing - but it wasn't. However, Paul had the "perfect" friend accompanying him on the new path he chose as he entered a new life designed for him by God.
In the second book of Corinthians, Chapter 13: 11, Paul lets us in on the secret he found for not only having but living the "perfect" life.
"Aim for perfect," he begins. In other words, "Strive to do God's will." And how are we able to do God's will? Here's the answer: "Be of one mind." This means we want our thoughts to be God's thoughts. We want our desires to be God's desires. We want our lives to reflect what God wants for us. Then Paul tells us that when we follow God's will, the results will be that we will "live in peace" (2 Corinthians 13: 11, New International Version).
When we are one in mind, in spirit, in dreams, and in plans with Jesus - our lives are filled with peace. When we allow God to "perfect" us for His glory - our lives are filled with peace.
The "perfect" life is a "peace-filled" life. I have peace because I am in harmony with God's will for my life.
I may not have all the things the advertisements tell me I need, but instead, I'll have all the needs of my heart met by God who has the "perfect" life all mapped out for me. That's "perfect" living!
"So keep a firm grip on the faith. (Watch who you trust!) The suffering won't last forever. It won't be long before this generous God who has great plans for us in Christ…will have you put together (perfected) and on your feet for good."
1 Peter 5: 10, The Message
"The spirit of the world is restless, and wishes to do everything. Let us have no desire to choose our own paths, but walk in those which God may be pleased to prescribe for us."
Vincent de Paul
Letter to Polish Missionary, 1659
"May the God of peace…equip you with everything good for doing His will, and may He work in us what is pleasing to Him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen."
Hebrews 13: 20, 21, N.I.V.
Dorothy Valcàrcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
P.S. My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is now available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com, Christianbook.com, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian. You can also go to www.whenawomanmeetsjesus.com and purchase the book through Paypal for $8.00. Or by calling Transformation Garden at 1-888-397-4348.
For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.