As some of you know, since moving down to SoCal, I have been looking for a church to get plugged into. Due to my work schedule, my search took a hiatus for the past two Sundays.
My friend suggested that with my struggle to find a church, that I should dig into a book called “What is a Healthy Church?“. I did just that and I am in the process of reading it.
I came across a chapter that inspired this entry. It simply asked the question of how we should describe a healthy church. This is what it said.
A healthy church is not a church that’s perfect and without sin. It has not figured everything out. Rather, it’s a church that continually strives to take God’s side in the battle against the ungodly desires and deceits of the world, our flesh, and the devil. It’s a church that continually seeks to conform itself to God’s Word.
That really struck me because the church I grew up in was the exact opposite of this. They tried so hard to be perfect, striving to be without fault. They didn’t try to fix problems, rather they looked to find things that made them feel better about themselves. There was no real battle for the people.
But the thing that struck me was the word “perfect”. What is perfect? Perfection in our society is to do something without fault, flaws. Something that is so good that nothing else is better.
In our lives, achieving things without fault is near impossible. As humans, we are prone to mistakes. We can’t do right all the time. We’re sinners. We can’t be perfect. In that sense, a perfect church is impossible.
But in the Bible, perfection takes on a different meaning. During a small group meeting back when I was in San Jose, we had a discussion that involved around Matthew 5:48 and what it meant to be perfect in God’s eyes.
“Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
We talked about what “perfect” meant in the Bible and this clip explained it perfectly.
Perfection is sacrifice. It’s dedication. It’s committing yourself. It had nothing to do with the scoreboard, the team record or anything. It was giving everything you had to be part of a team. That’s what perfection was. And even though the team ended up losing the championship, they were perfect because they gave it their all for each other.
In the Bible and in our Christian lives, that’s exactly what God wants from us. He wants us to be perfect just like Him. He wants us to love, to commit, to give everything we have. There will be bumps along the way and tough situations, but there is a journey that we are walking towards. And at the end, if we have no regrets because we knew we gave it our all for one another, then the journey is perfect.
So in a sense, the church I am looking for can’t be perfect, yet I want it to strive to be perfect.
In our world, we know that there are flaws and perfection is unattainable. But in God’s eyes, He doesn’t want that kind of perfect. He wants the perfection that has us committed to one another. He wants the perfection of love and care. He wants the perfection that’s dedicated to God and the work of growing. A church that is striving to be that kind of perfect is the one I want to be a part of.
And I think when it’s all said and done, after we’ve lived our perfect lives (God’s definition of perfect), we can all barbecue and just have fun. We look back and know that we did all we could for God and for each other — and we know that it was perfect.
My journey of seeking a perfect church continues. I don’t want to hold any church I visit to a super high standard, but I would hope and believe that they have a desire to be perfect as well. After all, that’s the best we can offer God — our everything.