Nobody is perfect

“Sermon on the Mount” (De Bergrede). Book illustration from Thomas à Kempis (translator: Jurriaen Bouckart ), De vier boeken der naarvolging Christi, Jacob Lescailje (publisher), Amsterdam 1663

Be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect.

Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Matthew 5:48; 2 Peter 3:18.

The saying goes that no-one is perfect. This we know all too well. But that does not sanction our committing peccadillos that tend to erase the distinction between right and wrong in everyday life.

When Jesus said, “Be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect”, He did not lower the standard to strive after, whatever our weaknesses are. But how can we attain to such an objective? How can we appear before God with our “imperfection”? Some people imagine that our good works counterbalance the evil, like trying to justify speeding by travelling below the permitted limit for the rest of the journey. The solution is quite different. Jesus forgives our wrongs if we recognize them as such, and justifies us before God. He is the One who imparts divine life, life in perfection.

Afterwards He gradually guides the Christian through His Spirit and His Word towards all that is good. In our daily experience we can thus, if we are occupied with Him, tend towards perfection, namely that of the Lord Jesus Himself. Christian life is a struggle with its victories and defeats, but let us not be discouraged. Let us be motivated to brotherly love and good works, “exhorting one another”, and so much the more as we “see the day approaching” (Hebrews 10:25). Soon we shall be with Jesus in heaven; that will be perfection.

Image: By Rijksmuseum –, CC0,