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Does God Expect Us to Be Perfect?

No, He does not. Was that the answer you were expecting? Maybe you were surprised that I said ‘no.’ Maybe you have been taught love and perfection are tied together and that it is only when we do the right things that we are worthy of love. If that is you, then I have good news for you. Today is your day to be set free, and finally have peace in your soul.

First of all, God knows that we are not perfect, we were born with a sin nature and our desires outside of God are bad. We have no ability within ourselves to get rid of sin as it is a part of us. In Romans 7:18 it says, “For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find.” So the first thing we need to accept is the fact that we will sin, we will make mistakes.

Only God is perfect. The good news is that Jesus has made a way for us. In 2 Corinthians 5:21 we are told, “For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” We can’t get rid of sin alone, but by accepting what Jesus has done on the cross we can live free and clean from sin.

One thing we can do is sin less and less. When we ask Jesus into hearts, and He comes in we become “a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17). Our sin nature becomes a God nature and the Holy Spirit inside of us helps us to live in a new way.

The Sin Nature

So you may be wondering, “Why do I still sin then?” Even though the spirit part of you has been made brand new, your soul (mind, will and emotions), and your physical body (the Bible calls it “the flesh”), have to learn how to walk free from sin. For however many years you have been alive, you have lived in a world that has trained you to live according to its system which is opposite to God.

We have to learn how to give up the desires of the flesh. “And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2). It is a process called sanctification, and it will take your entire life.

We learn to live free as we incorporate God’s grace. It is an amazing gift of God’s unmerited favour, it is not something that we earn, we can only accept it. The more that we live in God’s love and grace, the less that sin has a hold on us, because our desire is to please God.

So should we strive for perfection? Yes, we should. In Matthew 5:48 Jesus says, “Therefore you are to be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” But what we need to understand is what God views as perfection is contrary to what we as humans consider perfection. In this world perfection is based on what we do or how we look, for God perfection is a heart and a life fully devoted to Him and what He has for us.

The Greatest Commandment

In the book of Matthew, a lawyer trying to trap Jesus asks Him this question: “’Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?’ Jesus said to him, ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets” (Matthew 22:36-40).

So how do we work towards becoming perfect? We learn to love God and others more and more each day. That is the perfection that pleases God.


We will never be perfect until we stand face-to-face with Jesus in Heaven, so don’t try to. Strive to become the best person that Jesus has created you to be. Don’t get puffed up about your strengths, but also don’t get down on your weaknesses either. Accept the fact that you are uniquely and wonderfully made with a God given destiny that only you can fulfill.

So you only have two jobs today: fall more in love with Jesus and learn better how to share that with others. What are you waiting for? True perfection is just down the road.

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