Be Perfect?


English: perfectionism at its finest
English: perfectionism at its finest (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

(This post was originally published as an article in The Banner, Feb, 2010)

Are you a perfectionist? Is your boss one? Perhaps you have a perfectionist parent or sibling? In any case, you probably know that perfectionists can be hard to please.

The pressure to be perfect is hard to escape. We live in a culture that demands, especially at work, things and products to be just right. Some of us, like me, also have perfectionist tendencies. When I try too hard and expect too much of myself—trying to write that perfect sermon or that perfect article—it can really slow me down or even paralyze me from doing what I can.

Perfectionism is a tough critic and master.

And how many of us expect perfection of our local church and/or worship experiences? How many of us expect perfection in our spiritual walk with God? Moreover, how many of us think that God expects perfection from us?

Jesus commands us in Matthew 5:48, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” That sounds impossible to live up to. What kind of perfection does Jesus expect from us? Are we doomed to failure and frustration?

To answer such questions, let’s first consider what biblical perfection is not. Then, digging deeper, let’s look at the Old Testament view of perfection, followed by the New Testament view and the Matthew text in particular. You may be surprised by what we find.

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Hearing God in Heavy Metal?


I am not a heavy metal fan. Normally, I don’t listen to heavy metal music. But inspired by John Van Sloten’s book, The Day Metallica Came to Church: Searching for the Everywhere God in Everything (Square Inch, 2010), my York students and I decided to dialogue on the topic of music in one of our Thursday night “Theology over Pizza” sessions. Students were invited to share some of their favourite music pieces – whatever genre – and share a little of why they liked that music, and how it may touch them on a spiritual level.

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