“Our lives, our brokenness, our flaws, and failures
are precisely what God designed to reflect a perfect love.” – Peter Adejimi
|A Black Swallow-Tail gathers nectar from a crepe myrtle.|
At first, I didn’t notice the imperfections. My delight in the translucent wings fluttering in front of me as I walked obscured them. Even as I edited the photo later, I didn’t notice them right away. But, as I focused more on the details and the color, I saw her wing was torn. She was, obviously, flying with an imperfect, torn wing! Perhaps it was because the lovely, pink buds of the crepe myrtle made up for what her wings lacked, but it was hardly noticeable in the grand scheme of color and light.
I’ve known what it’s like to have torn wings. It feels like you will never fly again, never become all you were meant to be. You know you’re not perfect, but everyone seems to only focus on those imperfections. You may know what that feels like, as well. The very ability you were created to display has been stifled, all but destroyed.
In spite of Jesus’ declaration that we should be perfect even as our Father is perfect (Matthew 5:48), perfection is something we will not achieve on this earth. So, do we just give up and stop trying? Do we go back to the cocoon and begin again? Neither of these things is possible if we truly desire to be in the glorious state of perfection.
The Pulpit Commentary (48 vols. London, 1880-97) notes: “Perfect…The word denotes those who have attained the full development of innate powers, in contrast to those who are still in the undeveloped state - adults in contrast to children. Thus the thought here is - Ye shall be satisfied with, and shall attain to, no lower state than that of maturity.”
Perfection, then, is a state of maturity, not of doing everything perfectly, but of being spiritually mature. In the context of Matthew 5:48, the statement refers to loving others even though they have done you wrong. Nothing less is acceptable. This is how the Father God is. He sends rain and sun on all alike. He is no respecter of persons. Jesus didn’t stop to ask the multitudes if they would all like to become holy before He healed them. He healed them and had compassion on them, even though many would soon turn against Him. His love went only one direction: from the Father to the children. He walked in the full state of maturity, where He became the expression of His Father’s love.
Taking our focus off our own imperfections and allowing God’s perfect, mature love to flow through us gives us translucent wings. His light shines through us, we are made perfect by it, and we are able to fly again.
Matthew 5:44-48 “But I tell you this: Love your enemies, and pray for those who persecute you. In this way you show that you are children of your Father in heaven. He makes his sun rise on people whether they are good or evil. He lets rain fall on them whether they are just or unjust. If you love those who love you, do you deserve a reward? Even the tax collectors do that! Are you doing anything remarkable if you welcome only your friends? Everyone does that! That is why you must be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect” (God’s Word).
John 17:25-26 “Good Father, the people of this world don’t know you. But I know you, and my followers know that you sent me. I told them what you are like, and I will tell them even more. Then the love that you have for me will become part of them, and I will be one with them” (Contemporary English Version).
Isaiah 60:1-2 “Arise, shine, for your light has broken through! The Eternal One’s brilliance has dawned upon you. See truly; look carefully—darkness blankets the earth; people all over are cloaked in darkness. But God will rise and shine on you; the Eternal’s bright glory will shine on you, a light for all to see” (The Voice).
While it is Called Today - a 30-day photo devotional for living well
by Dee Marvin Emeigh
(c) 2014 Dee Marvin Emeigh
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