Borrowed from Amber:

Someone forgot to put that on my desk this week. Today, however has gone from worse to better. Even though I got very little sleep, work went by quickly. I’m starting to relax there, too; starting to laugh. It was a good day.

Ever since I memorized 1 Corinthians 13, I’ve been working my way through the list of what love is and isn’t. Next on this list is, “love is not self-seeking.”1 That lesson could have come a bit earlier, but now is as good a time as any. Also next on the list is, “There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear,” from 1 John 4:18. I know it may seem like I’m once again holding myself to an impossible standard. But as Christians, we are. “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48), which I’ve always interpreted as “become perfect, be moving toward perfection.” We’ll never reach it, but the more we grow, the more we strive to simulate Christ, the closer we should move toward that goal. It takes conscious effort, and it’s gradual. It’s an imperfect process toward a hoped-for perfect result.

Paging through my journal to find my thoughts on these topics, I came across this [a response to a passage from The Painted Veil]:

Humans have the potential to do both great good and great evil, but we also have the propensity for selfishness. As a result, this world is a crazy, chaotic place. What makes life beautiful, worth living, are the relationships we form that serve as anchors in this raging sea. The beauty in a smile, a glance, laughter between friends. It is the mundanity of life that makes the great deeds of heroes valuable.

I still have thoughts regarding the Beggarman and Charity. Maybe they’ll eventually show up here. Maybe I need to mull on them a bit longer. All this mental energy spent on imperfection brings to mind Canon in B Minor, of which there is more of the story to be told. Perhaps Masters Russell and Edwards will inspire me to tell the rest of their story.

1 By no means does this mean the previous items on the list have been mastered. This, too, is an ongoing process.

3 thoughts on “Imperfect

  1. Sarah says:

    Edwards?? (yes. I’m starting with my last thought first 🙂

    I like the quote from your journal…it is so true. Thank you for your laughter and for your unsinkable friendship. You have been an anchor in my raging sea (especially in the last year!)

    I ❤ you friend!!


  2. Amber says:

    I don’t (currently) place it into a religious context, but I can understand the drive and the desire to work toward being more *good*, to being a better force in life and in the world and all the rest.

    I don’t say it enough, but I am glad to have you in my life. It is almost odd to think, how many hundreds of nights I slept under that blanket you and Laura made me, and although some nights I was too tired to really think much of anything, a lot of nights I remembered you and Laura and felt grateful for you as I crawled into bed. You, Chera, are an incredible friend, an incredible *person*, and I thank you for that.


  3. Danielle says:

    I have to compliment you on your fine exegetical work with Matthew 5:28 – after spending more hours than I care to admit (ok it was like 15 in one week), that is the correct interpretation. The word “perfect” (telos – in greek) means “mature, or complete” not necessarily without flaw.

    The beautiful thing about our faith is that God will bring each of us to that full perfection of Christ-likeness (a process we Wesleyans call Santification). That assurance in God’s love is what drives out the fear of not being “good enough”. As we begin to embody 1st Corinthians 13-type love we are made more complete.

    Isn’t it awesome how Scripture works together to reinforce and deepen itself (ok I’ll stop preaching now).

    Just wanted to say I love you and thanks for praying for me and my family. I miss you – when I get back to KY we should see if we can coordinate a visit from you.


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