Some people are turned off by the word perfection. I can see where they are coming from, as striving for perfection is oft associated with stress, burnout, and pipe dreaming. What happens then, when Jesus uses this very word to describe God, then aims it at us saying “you are to be perfect like him.”? Where do we even begin with a challenge like this?
I don’t know about you, but the first place my mind goes is Paul’s exhortation to the Christians in Galatia. Many of you are probably familiar with the “fruit of the Spirit” verses:
But the fruit produced by the Holy Spirit within you is divine love in all its varied expressions:
- joy that overflows,
- peace that subdues,
- patience that endures,
- kindness in action,
- a life full of virtue,
- faith that prevails,
- gentleness of heart, and
- strength of spirit.
Never set the law above these qualities, for they are meant to be limitless. – Galatians 5:22-23 (TPT)
And because most things come with two sides, if you back up three verses Paul provides a handy checklist to see if you’re headed off in the wrong direction:
The cravings of the self-life are obvious: Sexual immorality, lustful thoughts, pornography, chasing after things instead of God, manipulating others, hatred of those who get in your way, senseless arguments, resentment when others are favored, temper tantrums, angry quarrels, only thinking of yourself, being in love with your own opinions, being envious of the blessings of others, murder, uncontrolled addictions, wild parties, and all other similar behavior.
Haven’t I already warned you that those who use their “freedom” for these things will not inherit the kingdom realm of God! – Galatians 5:19-21 (TPT)
Yikes! Don’t do any of that stuff ok?
“That’s great” you say, “but I need practical steps to get there!” Well, you’re in the right place. While we’re not claiming to have everything you need to guarantee arrival in the land of perfection, we do have a key ingredient; helping you connect with someone who can.
If this is your first time here, you’ve stumbled upon the wrap up of our newest series on our three-part self; Spirit Soul Body.
You’re in the Right Place
In order to become the best possible versions of ourselves, we need to understand what “best” actually looks and feels like. Our introductory blog laid the foundation for this by explaining how our Spirit, Soul, and Body are designed to operate in perfect harmony, but often don’t. So we’re left with something off-balance at best, fighting against one another in a worst case scenario. The only way to get better is by admitting we have flaws, and being brave enough to do what’s required to fix them.
The second blog, Flesh Blood Bones, recounts Amy’s personal revelation that everything is interconnected. If I bless one part of myself, it has a direct impact on every other part. On the flip side, if I curse one part of myself, well… you get the idea. The first step in the right direction is to fully understand it all begins with honouring every part of ourselves; not just our spiritual self, our physical brain and body as well. Most of us understand the importance of maintaining healthy relationships with those around us, but how many understand how to have a healthy relationship with themself? Frankly, this is where we need the help of the Holy Spirit. The One whom our Spirit can connect with any time, any day, any place.
Be Spirit Led
Spirit Led is the term used to describe this connection with Holy Spirit. Our third post dives right into what it means to be “led of the spirit.” God’s promises manifest themselves in our lives when we choose to empower our Spirit as leader. Seeing evidence of love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self control in your life are very good indicators that you’re on the right track. How many of those boxes can you check off in your life?
Guard your speech. Forsake obscenities and worthless insults; these are nonsensical words that bring disgrace and are unnecessary. Instead, let worship fill your heart and spill out in your words.Ephesians 5:4 (TPT)
If you’re not seeing much of that fruit in your life, it’s a good indication that your Soul is leading your decision making, not your Spirit. Just as we’re made up of three parts, our Soul has three parts to it as well. There’s our mind, will, and emotions. Confusing? Not to worry, we dive right into providing keys and strategies about this in our fourth post; Take Captive Every Thought. Once you’re able to bring every thought under the microscope of God, you’ll notice your decision making becomes much different. This lends itself right into our fifth post, The Beautiful Gift of Choice, because when we think, we also get to make decisions based on those thoughts.
Freedom of Choice
I’ve often wondered what is something I can give to God that wasn’t something He had already given me. Our free will to choose Him is about the only thing I can come up with. He gave us something that we can totally use to turn our backs on Him if we choose to. How sweet it must be to Him when we use it instead to run right into His arms, even when we’re broken and hurting.
Then you will learn to choose what is beautiful to our Lord.Ephesians 5:10 (TPT)
Wouldn’t you know, emotions are a part of us that can either be helpful or hurtful. Understanding how to express emotions in a healthy way is a huge step in the direction towards living your best life, so big in fact we wrote all about it in our sixth post, Emotional Realignment. In it we detail five steps of healthy emotional expression. I feel confident enough to guarantee that if you get into the habit of practicing these steps every time increased emotions rise up, your responses will be much better.
Last but not least, we have the third and final part of our being, our Body. Not only do our bodies house all this stuff we’ve been talking about, it also speaks to you throughout your day. What’s Your Body Saying? is a great overview of how to bless these earthly vehicles of ours while we’re visiting here.
Your Life as a Sacrifice
Do you dream about living a life fully devoted to the Lord? If you’re like me, I’m always looking for how to live each day a little more sacrificially, have each conversation be more purposeful and present, and leave each place I visit saturated with a little more of God’s sweet fragrance. May this series of blog posts and podcasts not only inspire you to live your best life ever, but to be transformed into the likeness of Christ.
And continue to walk surrendered to the extravagant love of Christ, for he surrendered his life as a sacrifice for us. His great love for us was pleasing to God, like an aroma of adoration—a sweet healing fragrance.Ephesians 5:2 (TPT)
The Entire Blog Series
In case you missed them, here’s a handy reference of all the posts in this series Although not required, we highly recommend reading them in the order presented. Enjoy and please leave a comment or send us an email of what you thought. We hope you are blessed by what we share with you!
- Spirit Soul Body
- Flesh Blood Bones
- Spirit Led
- Take Captive Every Thought
- The Beautiful Gift of Choice
- Emotional Realignment
- What’s Your Body Saying?
There’s Podcasts Too!
Just in case you’re not subscribed to our podcast (What are you waiting for? Subscribe now) here’s the complete series of podcast links. Each corresponds to the weekly blog listed above.