Perfection is the dream of ambitious people. Everyone who aims at successful life tries to be perfect. As a worker in a company you want to do things perfectly. As a mom at home you try to be a perfect mom. As a spouse you do everything to be a perfect spouse satisfying your partner. Is perfection, in the real sense, possible?
What is perfection?
Perfection is a word with very deep meaning. Dictionary.com defines the word "perfection" as the highest degree of proficiency, skill, or excellence, as in some art. It says that it is a quality, trait, or featureof the highest degree of excellence. It means achieving the supreme quality that can satisfy all requirements.
When we think of such supreme quality we may lose our heart in trying anything – it is too high to reach!
Does “perfect” mean “impossible to achieve”?
It is impossible, according to Elliot Cohen! He says "You can't have perfection in an imperfect world" in his book "The Dutiful Worrier: How to Stop Compulsive Worry without Feeling Guilty". He points out that when someone demands perfection, either with themselves or with others, it creates only frustration.
Then why did Jesus say to “be perfect”?
Jesus has instructed us to be “as perfect as the Divine Father. He said, “Be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5: 48) If it is not possible, Jesus would not have said so. Then why did Jesus givesuch a scale for trying our perfection?
Perfection here means dynamic growth
Perfection seems to be so unattainable because it sounds like “either-or-proposition”. It means that you have to be this or that and there is no in-between. But the scripture scholars point out that the word is used here in its dynamic sense. It indicates the growth by trying. They say that the Greek word translated as “perfect” in the Matthew gospel carries this dynamic sense.
Is perfection impossible?
From the perspective of dynamic growth, “perfection” indicates the process of becoming whole and complete by growing. It seems to be Jesus saying, “Keep moving forward always trying to reach your goal of perfection. Keep working on becoming a person you ought to be.”
Perfection is possible!
Perfection is possible in the sense of ever-growing and ever-trying. It involves the sense of dedication and surrender into the hands of God with complete faith in him. Perfection is a constant process of self-purification.