March 16, 2012

What is Perfection?

My husband taught me an interesting concept the other day.  He is a therapist and works with all kinds of people who are struggling through various issues.  One thing so many people seem to struggle with is feeling the need to be perfect.  We all know that in our faith it is something we all feel at one time or another.  So, my husband came home one day and said: "What is the definition of perfect?"  I rattled off something about doing everything exactly right.  He smiled then taught me a wonderful lesson. 

What do you think perfect means?? 

In the scriptures, perfect is defined as complete, finished and fully developed.  In Matthew 5:48 it says: Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. The footnote for perfect gives the above definition.  This scripture is Christ speaking.  He is telling us to be perfect like our Father in heaven, not like himself.  At this point, Christ was not yet perfected.  He was not fully developed in the sense that he was not yet a resurrected being. 

However, in 3 Nephi 12: 48, when Christ visited the people in America, he said this: Therefore I would that ye should be perfect even as I, or your Father who is in heaven is perfect. What changed?  Christ was a resurrected being.  He was perfected. 

So, this makes us think about ourselves & our constant need for perfection.  We cannot & never will be there in this life.  That is the purpose of the Atonement.  Our Heavenly Father knew that we could not achieve perfection without the help of our Savior. 

Can we expect it of our children?  Absolutely not!  We are their parents for a reason.  We are here to teach them and guide them on their own paths.  We give them the tools to learn, and let them learn for themselves. I need to relax and stop expecting perfection of my children & of myself. 

This is a simple lesson- maybe one that many of you have already discovered for yourselves, but it really touched me.  It helped me remember my purpose. 

Karyn is a mom to three young children. She just finished her first year of homeschooling. She grew up in FL and got a degree in Home Ec. Ed. from BYU. She taught school for a few years before having kids. Karyn loves learning along with her kids! Some hobbies: music, cooking, sewing, reading, & gardening. She runs two different blogs- one focused on homeschooling- Teach Beside Me, the other is a food blog.

2 comments - Add a comment below -:

Katie said...

I often think we overestimate our own ability to know what perfection looks like. I know often I get an idea of what some goal or project would look if it were perfectly executed, only to realize that my ideas were far different from reality. I think life is the same way - we think we have an idea of what being perfect means, but really we don't understand it yet. We are all children, trying to grow up like our Heavenly Father, but I don't think we'll really understand what being grown up means until we get there.

MissMOE said...

Thanks for this post. My goal of perfection now seems attainable--it is too finish and return to my Heavenly Father--to complete my mission here on earth--not to simply try to do everything with any mistakes! What a change in thinking.