What a world we live in. We strive for the perfect nose, the perfect marriage, the perfect children, the perfect car and the perfect life. We model our bodies after celebrities and spend fortunes to slow down the aging process. We seek after worldly things that we somehow believe show our success as human beings. We use phrases like, "I'm great. My job is wonderful. Couldn't be better." The truth may be different - there might be underlying currents that threaten to destroy the picture of perfection we work so hard to project.
If we believed everything printed in Christmas family newsletters, we would all wind up giving up in an overwhelming sense of failure. It's time to be real.
In this daily struggle, we can lose sight of what really matters - the whole reason we are here - to become perfect. But, not in the way the world sees us. We need to strive for a more eternal perfection and realize that it is something we will never attain, but should always be working toward.
God wants progress. He does not expect us to arrive unscathed and unblemished. He won't check for silicone implants or Botox injections. We won't arrive in a Lexus or a Mercedes. We won't be turned away because we aren't wearing the right designer labels or partying with rock stars. Our net worth will not be quite as important as what we did with it. The way we spent our time and talents will be even more important.
In the final judgment, I expect these will be questions He will ask us, with regards to striving for perfection:
Our bodies are a gift from God. So we should ask ourselves: Did we take care of the body He gave us? Did we use it to help others? Did we feed it as well as we could with the resources we had? Did we exercise it? Did we give it rest when needed?
Did we try hard in school? Did we try hard to learn when outside of school? Did we use the intellect God gave us to help others? We need to always be learning, whether that means working crossword puzzles, reading good books or taking classes.
Did we do the right thing because it was the right thing to do or because we feared the repercussions? Did we try to do the right thing even when no one was looking? Did we handle others fairly and honestly? Did we look for opportunities to help others?
I think this will be paramount in our judgments. How did we treat others? Were we kind and generous? Did we put the feelings of others before our own selfish desires? How many tears did we cause? Were we the best daughter or son, spouse, parent or sibling we could be?
Talents and gifts of the spirit
Since these are endowed to us from God, did we develop them and share them in an uplifting way? Did we use them to bless mankind? And, not just talents that are obvious. We all have talents, and once we find them, we need to use them to uplift others, even if that talent is laughing at a joke or being a good listener.
We have been given stewardship over resources, the planet, our homes and finances. Do we care for them and use them wisely and prudently? Do we practice provident living and frugality? Do we plan for the future? Do we waste money or water or time? Practicing ecology and economy are important ways to show good stewardship over what the Lord has given us.
The Lord served. Always. He set the standard for service, and we can follow. Using the resources, talents and intellect we were given, we can look for ways to serve others. We can make it a goal to do one kind deed every day. Carry in a neighbor's groceries. Bake cookies for a friend. Write letters for folks in nursing homes. Sing a song. Give a ride. Using what we have been given to serve others speaks volumes about our gratitude for blessings.
There is no earthly beauty that comes close to the glow of living right. When someone is good, you can see it in their countenance. They don't need nose jobs or celebrity diets. Living a Christ like life is as close to perfection as we will ever get here.
This is my take on things, but it is based on my studies, prayers, and promptings. Life is a gift, and when this mortal life ends, and eternal life begins, we will have to answer for some important things. I think relationships will be the most important of these, but followed closely by the other things. We will not be asked if we are perfect, but I think we will be asked if we did our very best.