When we approach life through the eyes of our false self, we see failure as a result and a label that eventually can become our identity. We are given this false belief that the chosen ones don’t fail, that failure is just another proof that we are still incomplete and flawed, and that our character still needs further refinement.
I wonder what Paul would have thought of this approach when he took a look at the thorn in his side? Unfortunately, this is what most of us subscribe to, which then leads many of us to try even harder, although Jesus never called us to build a perfect identity outside as much as He encouraged us to discover the perfect one we had already been given within. Jesus was perfect and lived a perfect life, yet He was not a perfectionist. He knew that as we discovered our true Self in Him, the behavior so many focus on would change automatically as a by-product of this discovery.
Most of us have totally missed the point of failure when we believe the gospel Christ brought to us is mainly about behavior modification and being part of a moralistic religion. Yet, what God is most interested in is in the condition of our heart. And failure is one of the best places where we can be shown what is really going on in us and the great impact it has on our behavior—if we remain still and don’t try to run away.
Our misunderstanding of what Jesus came to say and show us also supports much of this false illusion. Many of us see Jesus as someone who was above us. Yes, we are happy to confess He was fully human, although we have a belief that He had something extra over us that led Him to be perfect inside and out. But do you believe that every coffee table Jesus built was perfectly straight? Do you honestly believe that even though He ran His bare hands over rough pieces of wood every day, He never got a splinter? Do you believe Jesus never tripped over one of the millions of rocks that were used to lay the paths in His day?
In fact, let’s modernize these questions a bit. Do you believe that if Jesus were alive today, in the flesh, He would never take a wrong turn while driving His car? Do you think Jesus would never use the GPS to reach a location He had never been to before? If He played tennis with me, would He never miss a ball and just walk into Wimbledon and beat everyone there without a day’s practice or hard work?
The way we choose to answer these questions will give us a good indication of whether we truly understand the perfection Jesus spoke about and displayed in His life – or not.
The above is an excerpt from the book The Modern Fig Leaf – Pages 179-180
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