Summary: Does God expect to much...do we?
Dealing with Perfectionitus
How many of you like to make mistakes? When you mess up a recipe or business transaction, are you harder on yourself than you should be? Do you allow yourself to make mistakes? In some areas of our world, we must have 100% perfection. 99.9% accuracy is not enough. If our world operated on only 99.9% accuracy than
We would have to accept:
-2 millions documents lost by the IRS each year
-22,000 checks would be deducted from the wrong bank accounts each hour.
-12 babies would be given to the wrong parents every day
-268,000 defective tires would be shipped each day
-18 major plane crashes every day around the world.
- Doctors operating on the wrong patient 500 times a week.
-17,000 pieces of mail lost by the US Post Office every hour.
-Your heart skipping 864 beats a day.
In some areas of life, we expect 100% quality. When you go to the store, you expect that the bread you buy will not be moldy. You expect that the milk is not out of date. You expect that your new pre-washed jeans won’t keep shrinking. Yet even if we end up with moldy break, curdled milk, and cheap clothes-- how we respond to failures, and mistakes will determine how happy we are in life. Should we expect 100% perfection from ourselves. Perfectionism is a deadly illness that makes you a miserable person to live with. Perfectionists don’t make many friends, because nobody lives up to the checklist of the ideal friend. Yet we all have some standards in life. We allow mistakes in some areas, and want Zero Defects in others.
Tonight, We’ll tackle two tough but related issues:
(1) Is God a perfectionist? Does he require perfection from us?
(2) How do we live with our failures?
(1) Is God a perfectionist? Does God expect us to be perfect?
Do I have to be flawless and perfect to go to heaven? Yes...
Heb 12:14 Without holiness, no one will see the Lord.
Ps 24:3-5 "Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? Who may stand in his holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart..."
Who here can say "I have clean hands and a pure heart. Continually." I don’t have a chance. Neither do you. If you say that you are without sin, the bible calls you a liar. Word "Holy" is found over 600 times in the bible. It means wholly devoted and dedicated to God. How many of us are constantly, without fault, wholly devoted to God...in our walk, our talk, our entertainment, our minds. None of us here stands a chance.
However, most of us don’t compare ourselves with God, we compare ourselves with other people.
ILLUS: A Notre Dame football player, a starter, appeared in court as a witness to a civil suit. He walked calmly to the front and sat down in the witness cubicle. He judge wanted to ask him a couple of questions to get things started.
"Are you a member of this Year’s Notre Dame football team?"
"Yes, Your Honor. Varsity." The athlete replied.
"What position do you play?"
"I play center, Your Honor."
"How good of a center are you?" the judge continued.
"Sir. I’m the best center Notre Dame ever had. In fact, I’m the best starting center in the country."
The Notre Dame coach was in the court and was quite surprised by the reply. Though he was a good ball player, he wasn’t the best in Notre Dame history, or even the Midwest. Later the coach asked the player why he said what he did.
"I didn’t want to, coach, but there was no choice. I was under oath."
Likewise we try to compare ourselves to others. I’m not as bad as Hitler, the Unabomber, or Ted Bundy. I should slip into heaven- maybe go through the back door. Hey, you may even have better morals than the President of the United States, right? But God never asks you to compare yourself with your neighbor."
Eph 5:1 "Be imitators of God." I Peter 1:16 "You must be holy, for I am holy."
Who has a Chance, if God is concerned about perfection? Everyone. Because your ticket to heaven is not dependant on your white knuckling your way to heaven on your own goodness. You will never be good enough. But Jesus Christ was good enough. He was perfect, and he credits his perfect life to all who sincerely love and trust him.
2 Cor 5:21 "God made him who knew no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."
Romans 8:1 No condemnation to those in Christ Jesus.
HEB 10:10, 14 "We have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all...  because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.