Oh, Sinless Perfection, Again?
Read Ecclesiastes Chapter 7
Ecc 7:20 There is not a righteous man on earth who does what is right and never sins.
I wish I had known this truth when I was a child and then later when I was a teenager. There are many scriptures which show us that we will remain subject to temptation and sin for as long as we live in this body and world. Somehow, that truth escaped me earlier in life. Therefore, I considered myself to be the worst of sinners, totally unable to measure up to the high standard which seemed to be set before me.
Our churches are filled with members who pretend to live perfect, sinless lives. Yet, we know through God’s word that such a thing is not possible. How should this truth affect our daily lives?
- We should be assured that God is not sitting in Heaven ready to pounce on us when we make a mistake. He’s not a god who is waiting to zap us with a figurative lightning bolt when we fall, as I believed as a child. He is a God of love and compassion, mercy and grace, as we have studied and learned over and over.
- We don’t have to compare our holiness with the holiness of others. We should not think less of ourselves if we do not measure up to our image of some other Christian we admire. Neither can we look down on those we believe aren’t quite up to our level of purity. We all have some level of weakness which has not yet been fully conquered. Our compassion toward others who show weakness should be equal to the compassion God has shown us.
- We absolutely must forgive ourselves when we fall. We are much too inclined to see ourselves as failures when we are in the process of confession and repentance. Nothing we do takes God by surprise. He knew it all before the foundation of the world. He saved us despite having that prior knowledge.
- We should be ever so thankful for God’s grace and mercy. As we ponder the great amount of forgiveness that has been bestowed on us, our praise should be unceasing. Our thanksgiving should lead us to strive even more diligently to obey Him at every twist and turn of life.
Isa 64:6 All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags;
1Jn 1:8 If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.
However, we must not allow this truth to give us license to weaken our barriers against sin and temptations. Instead, it should strengthen our resolve to live for Christ.
Prayer: Again, we thank You for Your mercy and grace. Without Your love, we would be without hope, comfort, and peace. Fill our minds with the reality of our right-standing with You, and give us the ability to share Your love with others.