To ‘be perfect’

“The good news about the word ‘perfect’ as used in the New Testament is that it is not a scary word, so much as a scary translation.  The word that has been translated as ‘perfect’ does not mean to set forth an impossible goal, or the perfectionism that would have me strive for it at any cost.  It is taken from a Latin word meaning complete, entire, full-grown.  To those who originally heard it, the word would convey ‘mature’ rather than what we mean today by perfect.

“To ‘be perfect,’ in the sense that Jesus means it, is to make room for growth, for the changes that bring us to maturity, to ripeness.  To mature is to lose adolescent self-consciousness so as to be able to make a gift of oneself…”

“Perfection, in a Christian sense, means becoming mature enough to give ourselves to others.  Whatever we have, no matter how little it seems, is something that can be shared with those who are poorer.  This sort of perfection demands that we become fully ourselves as God would have us: mature, ripe, full, ready for what befalls us, for whatever is to come.”

~Kathleen Norris, Amazing Grace