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Vieraskieliset / In-english

Blog: Perfect

Vieraskieliset / In-english
25.7.2022 6.00

Juttua muokattu:

27.6. 08:46
2022062708464920220725060000

Text: Jou­ni Le­so­nen

Trans­la­ti­on: Sirk­ka-Lii­sa Lei­no­nen

We are told there is a lot of per­fec­ti­on around us. Ad­ver­ti­se­ments en­cou­ra­ge us to strive to­ward per­fec­ti­on. Me­dia give inst­ruct us on how to suc­ceed per­fect­ly well in va­ri­ous ac­ti­ons: ”This is the way to cook a per­fect meal, set yo­ur tab­le per­fect­ly, fold yo­ur clean laund­ry, wash and po­lish yo­ur car, de­co­ra­te yo­ur li­ving-room, do yo­ur gar­de­ning, make cof­fee, and so on.” We can be per­fect in many ac­ti­vi­ties.

Sports com­men­ta­tors al­so of­ten speak about a ”ne­ar­ly per­fect per­for­man­ce”. Ne­ar­ly per­fect. So there was still so­met­hing mis­sing.

When did you ma­na­ge to do so­met­hing per­fect­ly well? Have you tried to fol­low the inst­ruc­ti­ons in or­der to suc­ceed per­fect­ly well in so­met­hing? If you have, were you di­sap­poin­ted? Was there still so­met­hing mis­sing?

Some of these inst­ruc­ti­ons are fun­ny and may even make us laugh. Some are ir­ri­ta­ting. Many of the inst­ruc­ti­ons for doing so­met­hing per­fect­ly well be­gin with a war­ning or a qu­es­ti­ons: “Ho­pe­ful­ly you ne­ver did it like this?” or “Have you al­wa­ys done it like this? You shouldn’t.” When you read so­met­hing like this, you are told that, for as long as thir­ty ye­ars – or even lon­ger – you have made yo­ur cof­fee in a wrong way, wi­ped the tab­le in a wrong way, not been ab­le to make por­rid­ge or soup pro­per­ly, not even boil wa­ter, or open and shut the door. You should even have cle­a­red yo­ur dri­ve­way of snow bet­ter. You feel that you have done more or less all things ina­de­qu­a­te­ly. If you be­lie­ve all those inst­ruc­ti­ons, you will have lost all skil­ls that you thought you had le­arnt over the de­ca­des. An­no­ying!

There are al­so inst­ruc­ti­ons for how to re­ach per­fect in­ter­per­so­nal re­la­ti­ons­hips. I am sure we could do bet­ter in our re­la­ti­ons­hips, but the inst­ruc­ti­ons we re­cei­ve in the me­dia hard­ly help us.

The Bib­le is an in­te­res­ting book. It has sto­ries of per­fec­ti­on, of ef­forts to re­ach per­fec­ti­on, and of pe­op­le who feel them­sel­ves so suc­ces­s­ful as to be per­fect. Job in the Old Tes­ta­ment ti­mes be­lie­ved him­self to be per­fect in words. ”Be as­su­red that my words are not fal­se; one who has per­fect know­led­ge is with you.” (Job 36:4). Ja­mes in the New Tes­ta­ment, ho­we­ver, wri­tes: ”We all stumb­le in many ways. Any­o­ne who is ne­ver at fault in what they say is per­fect, ab­le to keep their whole body in check.” (Jam. 3:2). Which of them was right?

Af­ter a va­ried life cour­se, Job found him­self dis­cus­sing with God: “Will the one who con­tends with the Al­migh­ty cor­rect him? Let him who ac­cu­ses God ans­wer him!” Then Job said to the Lord: “I am un­wort­hy—how can I rep­ly to you? I put my hand over my mouth.” (Job 40:2–4.) And he con­ti­nu­es: ”The­re­fo­re I des­pi­se my­self and re­pent in dust and as­hes.” (Job 42:6).

Je­sus of­ten en­cou­ra­ged his dis­cip­les to as­pi­re to­ward per­fec­ti­on: ”Be per­fect, the­re­fo­re, as yo­ur he­a­ven­ly Fat­her is per­fect.” (Matt. 5:48). ”If you want to be per­fect, go, sell yo­ur pos­ses­si­ons and give to the poor.” (Matt. 19:21) ”Un­til now you have not as­ked for anyt­hing in my name. Ask and you will re­cei­ve, and yo­ur joy will be comp­le­te.” (John 16:24).

Should we as­pi­re to­ward per­fec­ti­on? Can we re­ach per­fec­ti­on, and if we can, in what things? Can there ever be per­fec­ti­on? Many por­ti­ons of the Bib­le en­cou­ra­ge us to strive to­ward per­fec­ti­on, but we know we can ne­ver re­ach it.

At the end of His cre­a­ti­on, ”God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” (Gen. 1:31). God’s cre­a­ti­on was good, but God does not say that ”eve­ryt­hing was per­fect”. In cre­a­ting man, God cre­a­ted so­met­hing per­fect, be­cau­se He cre­a­ted man in His own ima­ge. But hu­ma­ni­ty was cor­rup­ted by sin.

We al­so have amidst us per­fec­ti­on that has been cre­a­ted by God, but which we can­not see with our na­tu­ral ey­es. The psalm wri­ter exp­res­ses is like this: ”From Zion, per­fect in be­au­ty, God shi­nes forth.” (Ps. 50:2).

Ac­cor­ding to God’s pro­mi­se, per­ma­nent, un­pe­ris­hab­le per­fec­ti­on awaits us in he­a­ven.

4.10.2022

Herra, sinä valmistat meille rauhan. Myös se on sinun tekoasi, niin kuin kaikki mitä me olemme saaneet aikaan. Jes. 26:12

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