Viewpoint from Rev Derrick Hill 05/10/2018
Rev Derrick Hill
Member, Light of Life Baptist Church
as published in the Yarmouth Mercury
Are you seeking perfection?
The annual publication of school examination results is fresh in my mind as I write. There is no doubt that, for students, securing examination successes can yield access into university studies or certain careers – whilst for schools, securing certain levels of passes can help lead to good, or even outstanding, status when the inspectors call! The pressure to deliver results is huge! And yet exam results are only one of the indicators when it comes to assessing the performance of schools in preparing their pupils for adulthood or the suitability of individuals for particular positions
Also in the news recently was a study indicating that levels of self-harm in adolescent girls has risen to horrifying levels – with many associating the rise with the use of social media and its emphasis upon physical appearance. Again we all know that there are many more indicators of a well balanced person than just physical appearance – but highlighting this one characteristic places excessive pressure on girls to present as perfect
Sadly, the results of pressure to achieve perfection can be traumatic. Teachers leave the profession. Pupils drop out of school. And young girls resort to self-harm – often involving the letting of blood. However, the letting of blood in response to perceived imperfections is not new – many primitive religions required sacrifice to atone for sins – as did the Old Testament sacrificial system, albeit that the shedding of human blood for atonement was explicitly forbidden
But what does the Christian Gospel say about perfection?
Firstly that God is a perfect judge, assessing the whole of the person – including inner attitudes and motivations. Not just appearance!
Secondly that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3.23). I often ask enquirers to privately assess their lives so far as a percentage – and then, without asking for their result, ask only whether they scored themselves at 100%. Nobody has yet replied “yes” so that is good evidence that we all know everyone is less than perfect!
But thirdly – and here is the good news – it says that the sinless Jesus shed His blood so that we need not shed ours! Jesus stands ready to “present us holy in his sight, without blemish and free from accusation – if we continue in the faith” (Colossians 1.22)
So, if you seek perfection, I suggest that approaching Jesus is a good place to start!
The views carried here are those of the author, not necessarily of Network Yarmouth, and are intended to stimulate constructive and good-natured debate between website users
We welcome your thoughts and comments, posted below, upon the ideas expressed here
Click here to read our forum and comment posting guidelines