Friday, April 4, 2008

My Asymptomatic Fight for Perfection

"But as He who called you is holy, you also be holy..." 1 Peter 1:15

I love school. I love to learn and frankly, I'm good at it. Usually, I stay awake for each class but two classes, and only two, sometimes lose my attention and naturally, I begin to drift further and further away from consciousness. These two classes would be algebra and chemistry. Today, however, algebra managed to capture my attention and actually teach me something about my relationship with God. Funny how things work like that huh? Well, I learned about exponential growth and decay (can't you imagine me just snoring right about now...) and something called the asymptote. For those of you who haven't been in an algebra class ever or lately, the asymptote is basically a straight line continually approaching but never meeting a curve. So what does this possibly have to do with the Christian life?? Well my friend, it defines it completely!

Peter tells us that God expects us to be holy just as He is holy. Holiness is perfection, something that, through this admonition, we are expected to strive for. Our Christian life is a line that keeps rising, if we're doing what we're supposed to do, but never quite make it to where we hope to. Let's face it, we're only human, we'll never be perfect. Anyone who thinks they will ever be perfect have embarked on an impossible journey that will only result in failure. Doesn't John tell us, "If we say we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us"? We can never and will never reach the perfection that God has required of us. We are simply asymptomatic creatures, striving for something we'll never attain.

Unlike the asymptote, we have hope of reaching our destination. No, not through ourselves, but through the perfect life and righteousness of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Because He lived a perfect life, and because we trust in His redemption, His righteousness is imputed to us and God deems us as holy and just in His sight. Is that not the greatest news ever heard? The God who demands perfection has shown grace enough to provide a way for imperfect humans to reach what He has demanded, through the life and death of His Son.

The asymptomatic line will never cross the x-axis but will only grow closer and closer for all infinity. We will never cross the bar of perfection but through growth in Christ, we will grow nearer. However, this is not a task that should evoke feelings of anger and frustration. We have already been declared holy in the eyes of God. Only, this is not an excuse to not strive to please God through our holiness. "What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin so that grace may increase?" No, rather, let us contend for holiness. Sure, we'll never be perfect, but praise God Almighty that such an endeavor is not left up to us but is instead wrapped up in the glorious and holy life of our Lord Jesus Christ. That is what I call amazing grace.

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