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Perfect Like Christ

Our Daily Bread Ministries / Various Hosts
The Truth Network Radio
January 28, 2022 7:00 pm

Perfect Like Christ

Our Daily Bread Ministries / Various Hosts

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January 28, 2022 7:00 pm

“Perfectionism is one of the scariest words I know,” Kathleen Norris writes, thoughtfully contrasting modern-day perfectionism with the “perfection” described in Matthew. Modern-day perfectionism she describes as a “a serious psychological affliction that makes people too timid to take necessary risks.” But the word translated “perfect” in Matthew actually means mature, complete, or whole. Norris concludes, “To be perfect . . . is to make room for growth [and become] mature enough to give ourselves to others.”

Understanding perfection this way helps makes sense of the profound story told in Matthew 19, where a man asks Jesus what good he can do that will be rewarded in the life to come (v. 16). Jesus responds, “Keep the commandments” (v. 17). The man thought he’d obeyed all of them, yet he still knew something was  missing. “What do I still lack?” (v. 20) he asks.

That’s when Jesus identifies the man’s wealth as the vise-grip stifling his heart. “If you want to be perfect” (v. 21), He responds—whole, open to giving to and receiving from others in God’s kingdom—then he must be willing to let go of what’s been closing off his heart from others.

Each of us has our own version of this—possessions or habits we cling to as a futile attempt to control. Today, hear Jesus’ gentle invitation to surrender—and find freedom in the wholeness that’s only possible in Him (v. 26).

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Hi friends, and welcome to this daily encouragement from Our Daily Bread. Our reading titled Perfect Like Christ was written by Monica LaRose. Perfectionism is one of the scariest words I know. Kathleen Norris writes, thoughtfully contrasting modern-day perfectionism with the perfection described in the book of Matthew.

Modern-day perfectionism, she describes as a serious psychological affliction that makes people too timid to take necessary risks. But the word translated perfect in Matthew actually means mature, complete, or whole. Norris concludes, to be perfect is to make room for growth and become mature enough to give ourselves to others. Understanding perfection this way helps make sense of the profound story told in Matthew 19, where a man asked Jesus what good he could do to get eternal life. Jesus responded, Keep the commandments. The man thought he'd obeyed all of them, yet he knew something was missing.

What do I still lack? He asked. That's when Jesus identified the man's wealth as the vice grip stifling his heart. He said that if he wanted to be perfect, whole, willing to give and receive from others in God's kingdom, then he must be willing to let go of what was closing off his heart from others.

Each of us has our own version of perfection, possessions or habits we cling to as a futile attempt to be in control. Today, hear Jesus' gentle invitation to surrender and find freedom in the wholeness that's only possible in him. Today's Our Daily Bread devotional scripture reading is from Matthew chapter 19, verses 16 through 26. Just then a man came up to Jesus and asked, Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life? Why do you ask me about what is good? Jesus replied. There is only one who is good. If you want to enter life, keep the commandments.

Which ones? He inquired. Jesus replied, You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery. You shall not steal.

You shall not give false testimony. Honor your father and mother, and love your neighbor as yourself. All these I have kept, the young man said. What do I still lack? Jesus answered, If you want to be perfect, go sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven.

Then come, follow me. When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth. Then Jesus said to his disciples, Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven.

Again, I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God. When the disciples heard this, they were greatly astonished and asked, Who then can be saved? Jesus looked at them and said, With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible. Let's pray.

Loving God, if we're honest, we all struggle with perfectionism to one degree or another, and it reveals that we are relying on our own strength and abilities rather than on you. We ask for your forgiveness and that you would help us to surrender control and embrace a life of freedom as we put our trust totally in you. Thank you, Lord. It's in Jesus' name we pray. Amen. Thanks for listening. My name is Alisha Reisinger, and today's encouragement was provided by Our Daily Bread Ministries.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-06-16 10:13:15 / 2023-06-16 10:15:06 / 2

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