Why does the Bible tell us to be perfect if there’s no way?

…raise our thoughts to what may happen when the redeemed soul, beyond all hope and nearly beyond belief, learns at last that she has pleased Him whom she was created to please. There will be no room for vanity then. She will be free from the miserable illusion that it is her doing. With no taint of what we should now call self-approval she will most innocently rejoice in the thing that God has made her to be, and the moment which heals her old inferiority complex forever will also drown her pride deeper than Prospero’s book…To please God….to be a real ingredient in the divine happiness… to be loved by God, not merely pitied, but delighted in as an artist delights in his work or a father in a son- it seems impossible, a weight or burden of glory which our thought can hardly sustain.

C.S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory

creative worship project


I have reached a brilliant conclusion. It is utterly, completely, no-way-no-how impossible to make myself perfect. The fact that I am still, far, very very far from perfect has been obvious lately. I will spare you the juicy details. So why does the Bible tell us to be perfect as God is perfect if there is no way we can do it?

We aren’t any more capable of becoming perfect than we were of saving ourselves in the first place.

Here’s my theory. He commands us to be perfect so that we will realize how utterly dependent we are on him. He saved us. We weren’t capable of doing anything to save ourselves. Somehow we tend to think that after salvation becoming perfect is up to us. But it isn’t. We aren’t any more capable of becoming perfect than we were of saving ourselves in the first place.

My sister made a great tangible reminder of this truth for her office. I’ve used her idea and shared it here with you. It serves as a reminder that my job as an imperfect little seed still buried deep underground is to live each day relying on God the gardener to bring the growth.


Who’s the Gardner? Creative Worship Project



  • Flower pot & soil
  • Seedlings or seeds
  • Chalkboard stickers, magnets, or sticks (available in craft stores)
  • Chalk

impatiens for impatience

Plant the seeds or seedlings. I chose Impatiens, because I am feeling impatience for growth!



Sit quietly and listen for God speaking to you. What is he growing in you right now? Write a word or two to remind you what you heard. I wrote “vine and branch” on my flower-pot to remind me of John 15:5 I am the vine you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. I added a stake that says “Joy”.


See another creative idea for time with God here.

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2 Responses to Why does the Bible tell us to be perfect if there’s no way?

  1. Carrie May 26, 2014 at 8:42 am #

    I love the get-your-hands-in-the-dirt connection to God. Makes all my time outside, even though I lost some of my plantings in the snow on Mother’s Day, worth every second. Thanks, Beth.

  2. Merrie Lea May 23, 2014 at 9:50 am #

    Great thoughts, just when I am asking God why he made me as he did. I want perfection, I am disappointed daily. Thanks for your wonderful words.

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