Hi! I’m still in Romania. On Monday and Tuesday, our team will serve children and do home visits in a village a couple hours’ drive from Resita. This has become an annual event that complements the work our career staff are doing in the area. We’ll drive back to Budapest, Hungary on Wednesday. On Thursday, our team members go their separate ways. Gene and I will fly to Berlin to meet a second North American team, and then we’ll head into Poland to host an English learning evangelistic family camp.
I’m thankful for Andrea Chatelain’s willingness to guest blog for me this week. I appreciate the godly wisdom in her words. Read on, and be blessed.
The Perfect Christian
By Andrea Chatelain
“You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” Matthew 5:48 ESV
My eyes stopped on the word “perfect” – a word I’ve never used to describe myself. This must be a mistake. How could Jesus urge us to be without error when He knows we are sinful people in need of a Savior? Why didn’t He say, try your best? But no, He called us to be like our heavenly Father who is perfect in every way. I squirmed in my writing chair ready to investigate what it means to be a perfect Christian because I’ve not been one.
A few years ago, I thought my faith was strong, until I encountered a friend who acted more like an enemy. I didn’t know how to deal with her desire for competition and rivalry. Instead of putting my faith into practice and loving my enemy, bitterness took hold. Even though I acted imperfectly, God taught me through that relational strife that withholding mercy does not lead to peace. Instead, as hard as it is, we’re called to love others even when they act like an enemy.
Teleiosis the original Greek word Jesus used in today’s passage which means complete, full grown, having reached the end, or perfect. In essence, He’s calling us to be completely mature in faith, fully grown up in love. Notice this word has nothing to do with making mistakes. It’s about reaching completion.
Let’s backtrack. Before Christ tells us to be perfect, He shows us what that looks like. He said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:43-45 ESV).
Our faith is complete, in part, when we love our enemies and pray for people who’ve wronged us. When we do so, Jesus says we’re children of God. We know this is true because our Father modeled it when He loved us despite our sin and rebellion by sending Jesus to pardon us.
Praise God that our Father’s love for us is complete and perfect. That He loves us despite all our blunders. Knowing that makes me want to be more like Him. So when our neighbor is rude, we don’t retaliate. If someone betrays us, we forgive. When others are against us, we pray for them. And with each act of loving mercy and grace, our faith is more teleios, more complete, more perfect, just like our Heavenly Father.
How has your faith been perfected lately? Who challenges your patience or takes rather than gives? Pray for them and give grace knowing your loving actions will build your faith.
Andrea Chatelain’s mission is to meet women in their struggles and love them forward with God’s truth. She’s a Midwest mom of three, faith and family blogger at A Fruitful Woman, and college English instructor to immigrants and refugees. She believes Jesus transforms lives when His people boldly seek Him. Her writing reflects her love for Jesus and heart for fellow believers.
#bgbg2 #ChrisianMaturity #Forgiveness