Summary: It is very acceptable for folks to be satisfied with who they are. We often here the phrase, “Awe, just be yourself…”
Text: James 3:1 thru 10 - NIV
For a moment, look at verse 2. There is reference here of a “perfect man”. When I see the word perfect used in the Bible, I always want to know what it might mean for me to be a “perfect man”. Could I ever meet anyone who the Lord would consider to be “perfect”?
At one time, being “perfect” was something people would want to become. That doesn’t seem to be the case anymore.
Nowadays, few people want to be “perfect”.
It is very acceptable for folks to be satisfied with who they are.
We often here the phrase, “Awe, just be yourself…”
In our day and time, it doesn’t matter too much what you appear to be, or what you stand for, as long as you are yourself. There must be a lot of people who are pleased with themselves. And, I suppose that is okay (to a certain extent).
I am not totally dissatisfied with myself. I will be the first to admit there is a lot of room for improvement in how I live my life.
I have a lot to learn, but one thing I know that I want for my life is to be the “perfect man” Christ has called me to be.
The Bible encourages and instructs me to be “perfect”.
There are numerous references stating this in the Bible.
28 Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.
29 To this end I also labor, striving
always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.
4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.
So you see the Bible does instruct us to become “perfect”.
Question: What can determine whether we ever become the “perfect man”, or, the “perfect woman”?
1. The Obedience to God – His Statutes & Commands
2. The Faith in God – Our reliance on Him exclusively.
What will prevent our becoming the “perfect man”?
1. The Neglect of God – Careless attitude towards God
There are many other things we could look at, but I propose to you today there is one other important factor to consider.
And that is, our conversations. What we speak to others.
Our conversations can be determined by what we say, but more often by what we do.
A Biblical illustration of this could be seen in the life of Peter.
We do not have a biography of Peter, but we can get a glimpse of him from the writings of the New Testament.
It is there we can read what Jesus thought about Peter.
We can see that Jesus loved Peter very much.
Jesus prophesied and promised the success of Peter (in Matthew 16) when Jesus said this:
“…on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it.”
That is a strong statement to make about someone.
What a great compliment coming from the Greatest Man to have ever lived! I don’t think Jesus would have exaggerated about Peter like this. But I can’t help but wonder what the other disciples (that knew Peter) must have thought when they heard Jesus say this.
Regardless, Jesus had a great deal of confidence in Peter.
But Jesus also had a few disappointments and heartaches (with Peter) along the way:
1. Peter rebuked Jesus – (Matthew 16) Jesus had foretold of His death in Jerusalem and subsequent resurrection.
Peter’s response to Jesus was,
"Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!"
2. Peter scolded Jesus (Luke 8) when the woman touched the hem of Jesus’ garment. At that moment Jesus sensed virtue going out of Him, so Jesus asked,
"Who touched me?"
And when they all denied it, Peter said,
"Master, the people are crowding and pressing against you. And You say, ‘Who touched Me?’"
3. Peter again rebuked the Savior when He wanted to wash Peter’s feet. Peter said,
"You shall never wash my feet!" Jesus
Peter was a very foolish man to talk this way to the man Who was strong enough to:
· calm the raging seas,
· overpower a violent demoniac,
· raise Lazarus from the grave.
I must tell you this:
Jesus was not (is not) the man I would have ever argued with.
WHY WAS SIMON PETER LIKE THIS?
Verse 6, (of our text) answers this for us:
The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil…It corrupts the whole person…and is itself set on fire by hell.
That is why Peter was the way he was. And, my friend, that is why you and I are the way we are. Verse 6 identifies for us why we are not yet the “perfect man” God has designed us to be.