For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.…Philippians 1:6
Sometimes I have been stymied from starting because I have tried to figure out the ending before the beginning. I want it to be “perfect” so I never get started.
But my Heavenly Father is teaching me a valuable insight about perfection.
It’s not going to be perfect when you start it. Get started and perfect it. Don’t be afraid of failure. Failure is part of the process to perfection.
Perfection does not necessarily mean without flaw. We have come to see the word “perfect” to mean flawless. But the word perfection can also mean the act of making something perfect. Perfection can also mean a state of completeness. Perfection can mean the highest quality attainable.
The word perfection comes from the Latin word “perficio” which means to finish or to bring to an end. Perfection literally means “a finishing” and perfect means “finished.”
Aristotle explained the concept of perfection with three concepts.
- 1. Which is complete, contains all requisite parts (nothing to add or subtract)
- 2. Which is so good that nothing of the kind could be better
- 3. Which has attained its purpose.
The “paradox of perfection” according to philosophy is that the greatest perfection is imperfection. The argument goes that if the world were perfect, it could not improve and so would lack "true perfection," which depends on progress.
I’m learning to embrace failure and my mistakes, not as an excuse, but as a teaching tool and part of the process to progress and perfection (completeness). I’m learning to do it, get started. At least if you start, you have something to work with, edit, learn from or improve.
I praise God that every day, He is “perfecting” me, making me complete in Christ. He is molding and making me so that I can fulfill the purpose that He created me. I can’t let procrastination deter me because then I am depending on me and what I can do, instead of relying on and trusting in my Heavenly Father and what He is trying to do in me and through me.
I keep pressing toward the mark of the high calling in Christ Jesus. I haven’t obtained it, as Paul said, but one thing I do is press on. I press on to be “perfect,” not flawless but complete. Not without mistakes but striving for excellence. Learning from my mistakes and not letting them hold me in bondage to fear of failure. For if you fear failure, you’re already defeated.
This posting may not be “perfect” but it will be perfect if it fulfills God’s purpose. And what is my ultimate purpose? To bring Him glory.
I am glad that God told me years ago that I don’t have to compare of compete because I am COMPLETE in Him. He is able to perfect and complete me. “He that began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6) God does, can and will finish what He starts.
So if you’re like me, don’t be afraid. God has not given you a spirit of fear but of love, power and a sound mind. If you're operating in fear, you're not in His will. Operate in faith instead of fear. Get started. Learn from the process. Grow from it. It’s all a part of the journey to your perfection.