I always had a problem when I heard the scripture Matthew 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. I said that I had a problem; it’s more like an “O M G” reaction of “How in the world would I be able to be perfect?” Then I read in the notes of my Dake Bible where he described the word ‘perfect’ as ‘mature’…
MATURE?? What does that mean exactly? I went to the Merriam-Webster to find a definition and there were five! The first one said “based on slow careful consideration <a mature judgment” OK, I’m already in the hole; slow and careful are not usually in my vocabulary! I go headlong into situations, act on my emotions and then think, or my mouth says something before my brain has processed it! Doesn’t sound very mature in that sense, does it?
I think that to be mature is to be able to handle a situation with tact and consideration for another person’s feelings. I have always tried to do that and it has gotten me into trouble because I have not found a way to speak my mind in some cases, without being blunt.
Two examples come to mind; I was pregnant with my daughter, very pregnant, when one of the ladies at church came to me, tears brimming her eyes, as she touched my arm and shared this “pearl of wisdom”, “You are the kind of person that God gives a retarded or handicap child to, because you are so full of love!” I couldn’t believe my ears! I looked at her in disbelief and said “What! Is there a certain amount of handicap children that have to be born so God chooses someone to give them to?” I was stunned and just didn’t know what to think! At first I wondered if she was giving me a prophetic word! Would God give such a word to someone that was not in authority over me? I believe if you have a child that is handicap in any manner, God gives you the grace to accept and deal with it in the way you need, but I refuse to believe that there is an allotted number and he chooses families in which to place them. I felt bad at my quick reaction and her face showed that she was surprised at the side of me she had never seen!
Another time was when a young man came into my office with a “message from God”, it seems that God had told him that he was to marry me and take care of me for the rest of my life. Now bear in mind, I had never dated this person, who by the way was fifteen years younger, I had also talked with the girl he had married and divorced, so there was no chance I would ever date him, much less marry him! My mouth fell open and I told him that God would have had to tell me that personally and that I had no intention of dating him much less marrying him. I felt sorry I had spoken so harshly and tried to soften my answer without giving him hope, but honestly I don’t remember what I said, I was just so embarrassed!
Back to being perfect, or mature, I looked up the scripture in the Message translation, “In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.” Ahhh I can live with that, in other words (and Jesus had already said it) “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”.
Until this past December we had a four-generation household, the eldest was 90 and the youngest was 13, and a lot of ages in between. If we didn’t “do unto others” in our home, there would be mayhem at all times! I watched how my parents dealt with each other, the same with my children with their spouses and my grandchildren in their relationship with each other and their friends, I honestly see a lot of genuine maturity in them, does that mean we are perfect? I laugh to think of it, but it is something to strive for, isn’t it?
What’s the point? Grow UP!