“The Rock—His work is perfect; all His ways are entirely just. A faithful God, without prejudice, He is righteous and true.”
On June 2, 2010, MLB pitcher Armando Galarraga was one out away from a perfect game: no hits, no walks, no errors. An easy ground ball was hit to the first baseman who tossed the ball to Galarraga, who was covering the first base bag. His catch clearly beat the runner to the bag for the final out of the game, but a veteran umpire called the runner safe, therefore ending Galarraga’s perfect game. This mistake showed that even the veteran umpire wasn’t perfect. And, in reality, none of us are.
Every one of us makes mistakes. We all make misjudgments, bad calls and show our imperfections in a variety of ways. But there was one Man who lived the only perfect life in history: Jesus Christ.
More than 2,000 years ago, Jesus lived a life of perfection here on an imperfect earth. Everything He did was perfect. He spoke all the right words at the right times, did all the right actions and perfectly demonstrated God’s character and love.
On March 14th, 2011, I was one strike away from bowling a perfect game. After 11 strikes in a row, I only needed one more to have a perfect game. I was shaking so badly that I could barely hold my ball. With the whole bowling alley watching me I stepped up to bowl, and right when I released the ball I knew I had blown my chance at a perfect game. I hit the pins a little bit to the left and only knocked down seven, leaving my score at a 297. It was a great game, but not perfect.
This experience made me more aware of how amazing it is that Jesus lived a perfect life. It is truly amazing that in all the turmoil and negativity of a sin-filled world, that He still lived perfectly. He didn’t tremble at the thought of perfection. He didn’t even second-guess Himself. He knew that everything He was doing was exactly right.
While our goal every day should be to strive for Jesus’ model of holy perfection, we must understand that we will never be perfect. We are all sinners, and we will make daily errors in actions, words and thoughts. The closest we will get to perfection is by having a relationship with Jesus Christ—the One who made the perfect sacrifice of His life to save us from our sins.
Yes, by all means, continue to aim for Christ-like perfection, but focus more on cultivating a healthy personal relationship with Jesus, willingly repenting to Him for the sins that you do commit. Doing that will bring you as close to perfection as humanly possible.
1. Do you strive for perfection in life, sports, or anything else you do?
2. What is your standard for perfection? Is it Jesus? If not, what is it and where does your standard come from?
3. How should you react when you sin? (Specifically think about conviction, repentance, grace and forgiveness.)
4. What can you do to better stay on Jesus’ path of perfection?