by: Staci Stallings
Here is one that might blow your mind. What if “perfection” doesn’t mean what we think it means?
This morning in the sermon, the deacon was preaching on this verse:
“So be perfect, just as your heavenly Father is perfect.” –Matthew 5:48
Now I have always interpreted this verse to mean perfect like “perfect”–like you make no mistakes, like you don’t have to use an eraser or rewrite anything. Like I always know what to do, how to do it, how to do it right, and I do it right every time without fail.
But what if that’s not what this verse means at all?
According to the deacon (and I’m not a Hebrew scholar, so I’m taking his word for this), the word “perfect” in this verse is retrotranslated to a word that is closer to meaning “complete” than our definition of “perfect.” As in:
“So now be COMPLETE, just as your heavenly Father is COMPLETE.”
Interestingly, I can see how the translation was arrived at. Complete = perfect I can see that.
However, because our definition of perfect is so skewed, we might be reading this one totally wrong!
You know I love words and I love Latin/Greek root words. So I went and looked up what plete means (com means with). Plete means fill. So complete means filled with. In other words, I think it means that there is no part missing, totally full. Perfect.
My daughter went on retreat back in December, and the theme verse for her retreat was Colossians 3:14: ”Put on the bond of perfection, that is, love.”
The BOND OF PERFECTION.
Now I don’t know this or know a way to figure it out, but what if, the word here translated is that same iteration of the word from Matthew in which perfect actually means complete.
“Put on the bond of completion, that is, love.”
When you put those two verses together with this new understanding… WOW!
The bond of perfection (completeness) is love and that is what makes our Father perfect (complete) and what will, if we ‘put it on,’ make us perfect (filled with, whole, complete) as well!
THAT is great news to me because love is now my life goal. In every circumstance and situation… to bring as much love as I can. And the more I do that, the more complete (lacking nothing!) that I feel.
You should try it!