The Road to Perfection {and LINKY}

Pin It

 

As Christ-seekers, we understand that the road to perfect love is adorned with jewels of suffering.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward do you have? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet only your brothers, what more are you doing than others? Do not even the Gentiles do the same? You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect. Matthew 5:43-48 (ESV)

The Word of God teaches us that if we love Christ, we will obey His commands. God did not command us to walk in ‘only human’ love. No, instead, He commands us to walk in perfection.

Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” (Matthew 5:48 NIV)

That’s a serious command right there.

It stands in direct opposition to what the world teaches us about love’s strength, or it’s justice. Any cinema or literature fan can tell you about the joy experienced when the perfect couple finally finds each other, the hero receives his due reward, or the villain his comeuppance. But, grace and forgiveness offered to those deserving of death? Or love and mercy shown to the proud and hateful? Not once, nor twice, but seventy-seven times! Most of us don’t want to offer forgiveness to the same offender three times, and much less to those who exceed the “fool me three times” limit.

Such unfettered mercy certainly doesn’t seem like love’s strength or justice.

Yet, as Christ-followers, we are commanded to walk in a manner that reflects the perfect love we have received. And although love may be a pretty word to say, as Christ-seekers, we understand that

twittericonThe road to perfect love is adorned with jewels of suffering.

While our imaginations create scenarios in which we find and settle into happily ever after with perfect relationships and perfect people, real life is full of twists and turns where those we love the most are often the source of our greatest hurts and disappointments.

Like Christ, if we are ever to ascend into the realm of perfect love, we must first be willing to descend into the pits of despair.

Following Christ will inevitably lead each of us to a place where we come face to face with betrayal and loss, and realize that this is where we must stop, honestly examine our situation, humbly set down our right to avenge and vindicate ourselves, and choose to love beyond our pain.

Matthew 5:43-48 is love in action.

I love these scriptures because it challenges me to be better than who I am. When everything in me is crying out “But, I’m only human!”, these scriptures say “So?”

When I’m ready to throw in the towel, and choose self-will over the humiliation of humility, Christ lays a hand on my shoulder, points to the wounds in His hands and asks “And?”

Yet, grace abounds more and more in this glorious process of surrender. The very nature of this incredible command requires that I submit my desires, and set my mind, fully to and on my Savior, so that He can enable me to successfully comply to His will. Because,

twittericonPerfectly loving those who have hurt me is impossible without the Spirit of Christ.

But through the power of Christ, I am transformed, and He enables me to accomplish the impossible.  This is the goal of perfect love, that we might be able to be used to love like Christ.  And that through love,  the blind would receive their sight, the lame would walk, lepers would be cleansed, the deaf could hear, the dead would be raised up, and the poor in spirit would hear the good news. (Matthew 11:5 ESV)

For prayer on today’s topic please stop by Daily Hope & a Prayer.

For further study- Matthew 5:43-48

So, for all of you who, like me, feel more like it’s a Wednesday than a Monday, here’s…

motivate-rejuvenate-21



twittericon

“Wait?! It’s Monday – AGAIN?” Visit Motivate and Rejuvenate Monday Linky @ http://bit.ly/1Bigjvx #MotivateRMday #linkup @embracinghiswil

*Author reserves the right to remove links that do not adhere to the rules or reflect the heart of the blog. 
Embracing His Will

Linked at Christian Mommy Blogger.

 

Comments

  1. Thank you. Perfection. The person of Jesus Christ. Yep, He perfects me. Susan
    Susan Mead recently posted…PromisesMy Profile

  2. Wonderful post. Reading this, I thought of the ‘God of Justice’ lyrics…
    “Freely we’ve received
    Now freely we will give…”
    God did completely turn the tables on human thinking when Jesus came to Earth and died for us. We are to be Christ followers – those who follow His beautiful example. Thankfully, it is not in our own strength that we persevere!
    Blessings,
    Kamea
    Kamea Hope recently posted…Stones of Hope… Guest SubmissionMy Profile

  3. Risky vulnerability.
    The life of following Christ involves putting ourselves at risk as He did.
    Michele Morin recently posted…Silver Anniversary. Golden Memories.My Profile

  4. Forgiveness is such a hard thing for us to do in our sinful flesh. Thank you for shedding light on how we gain success.
    Blessings,
    Deborah recently posted…Protect Your Marriage By Keeping God FirstMy Profile

  5. Hey Leticia,

    Good morning. I found your site through the RaRa link up. I’m fairly new to blogging, and I’m really enjoying making many new friends.

    I signed up for your emails and followed you on FB, Twitter & Pinterest.

    And, I really was challenged by what you shared today about loving others even when it is hard! This line especially stuck with me – “grace abounds more and more in this glorious process of surrender.”

    I’ll stop by to see you again~

    Thanks for allowing God to use you!
    Blessings,
    Melanie

  6. Stopping by from the #RaRaLinkup. So thankful for His perfect love for us!

  7. Leticia,

    Thanks so much for linking up at Mondays @ Soul Survival. Have a blessed week!

    Donna
    Donna recently posted…“The Christian Two-Step” May 12My Profile

  8. Praise God that He uses our suffering to conform us more into His image! Thanks for the beautiful post and for hosting & God bless!
    Laurie Collett recently posted…Remembering “Baba” – A Proverbs 31 GrandmotherMy Profile

  9. Thank you, Letetia for another thought-provoking post. I love the imagery of the scriptures saying, “So?” It’s all about stretching ourselves, isn’t it? I’m glad I had two things to link up this week. Have a gorgeous day.
    Heaven recently posted…Sacred Sabbath: To All Women With a Mother HeartMy Profile

  10. Thanks so much for hosting another great link-up!

    May He continue to fill your cup to overflowing.
    Heather recently posted…HomeMy Profile

  11. Jewels of suffering is a great term…. not fun, but accurate. Good article…
    Gentle Joy recently posted…Small Garden-Part 7-Plant LabelsMy Profile

  12. Hi Letetia! Stopping by from Women with Intention . I love this post; as yes, it is so hard to forgive, yet so easy when we allow the Spirit and not our flesh to be in control (Galatians 5:17). I know it’s not easy, but when we look at the Cross and see what Christ did for us as He bore the wrath of God in our place, it makes it a little easier. I didn’t deserve His forgiveness or love and yet He chose me. Still amazed by His grace!

  13. I loved this post! It is so true that the road to perfect love is adorned with jewels of suffering.

    I could definitely relate to your statement, “Following Christ will inevitably lead each of us to a place where we come face to face with betrayal and loss, and realize that this is where we must stop, honestly examine our situation, humbly set down our right to avenge and vindicate ourselves, and choose to love beyond our pain.”, but was spurred on to choose love beyond my pain when those circumstances arise.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Karen Del Tatto recently posted…Red Light RevelationMy Profile

  14. Yes! Thankful that I don’t have to do things in my own strength, but in His. :)
    Alecia Simersky recently posted…Mining For TruthMy Profile

  15. God reminds me that the world is so filled with ways that are not His. Focusing on Him and hearing His guidance for me are what I must do. Being “perfect” in His eyes is so beautiful to me today because I so rarely even come close to considering I am that. I listen to the world far too much. BUT…He tells me I am when I love and obey. I want to do those things and thus want to be His perfect child.
    Visiting from Holley’s.
    Caring through Christ, ~ linda
    ~ linda recently posted…Caring for the Caregiver – Part 1 @ SDGMy Profile

  16. I hav come to understand that alone I can nothing. I am called to perfection, but because God is perfect and in Him I can be perfect too. It is impossible if I try to do it myself. But when I let Him, He will make me perfect.
    Joanna Sormunen recently posted…I Need You – Wednesday WorshipMy Profile

  17. Such words of truth – those we love the most are the ones that hurt us the most. It’s so easy to want to walk away and not give all we have to them, to just give up in our minds and decide to just “deal” instead of giving truly and faithfully.
    Thanks for sharing on Wise Woman Link up.

  18. Thank you for this post … striving for perfection is a battle we have to face every single day! There is a quote that I often think about and it says, “The only person you should be better than is the person you were yesterday!” There have been times when I look at someone else’s faults and want to pick their spec out, but then I remember that I am a sinner myself and I mess up and that I need to get the beam out of my own eye first! Blessings and thanks again for sharing, ~Sarah (visiting from Radical Femininity)
    Sarah Washburn recently posted…Pink, White And Navy StripesMy Profile

  19. Great post! Love your imagery!

    ((hugz))
    Jamie recently posted…Making Time for Unfinished BusinessMy Profile

  20. Oh my goodness, yes!! Such a meaty post full of Truth! I especially liked this: “The road to perfect love is adorned with jewels of suffering.” Yes.

    It’s risky to love others – as it exposes our hearts to hurt, disappointment, rejection. But, need we look any further than the Cross to see that Jesus joins us in this journey?! He was willing to risk it all to offer His love to us. May He ever teach us more how to love like He does.

    GOD BLESS!

  21. Great post, thank you for sharing with us at Good Morning Mondays. Blessings
    Terri Presser recently posted…MY BEEF ENCHILADASMy Profile

  22. Thanks for linking up at Women With Intention Wednesdays! I look forward to what you will share this week!
    Jenny recently posted…Women With Intention Wednesdays #20My Profile

  23. This is a wonderful post! Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts; I offer a hearty “Amen!”

    And thanks for joining Grace at Home. I’m featuring you this week!