Are followers of Jesus supposed to “have it all together”?
Good question! After all, in Matthew 5:48 Jesus says, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
-Some Christians do in fact think they have it all together. They drip with religious condescension.
-Some people know that they definitely don’t have it all together… but they feel horribly bad about it because of what Jesus said in Matthew 5:48.
-Some people know that they don’t have it all together and worry that they come across as hypocrites to their friends and family.
-And others pretend to be perfect because they don’t want other people to think they’re weak, fake or unfaithful.
So yes, it’s kind of a mess.
But in Matthew 5:48 the word used for “perfect” is telios. It has the implication of being complete or mature. And since Jesus was just talking about loving our enemies because they too are made by God, he’s talking about being more complete, mature and perfect in the love we have for all God’s children.
It’s not about never making a mistake or having all the answers 100% of the time.
So don’t beat yourself up because you’re imperfect. I’m pretty sure that pepper-spraying yourself with self-defeating thoughts isn’t going to strengthen your ability to do God’s work.
Christians don’t “have it all together.” They have it all, together.
The placement of a comma makes all the difference in the world. I’ll share more about what I mean by that tomorrow…
By Matthew Ruttan
- Today’s “Up!” is based on my Sunday podcast: “Are followers of Jesus supposed to have it all together?” You can listen in here. It was Part 2 in my current teaching series: “Oops! – Half truths we believe, how they hurt us, and how biblical truth can get us back on track.“