A theology of perfection breaks you apart. It scrutinises you, evaluates you, assess your motives and intentions. Criticises you and then delivers its damning verdict:
'not good enough'
A theology of perfection is just that - a theology, or understanding of who God is, based on his expectation of you to be perfect before he can fully accept you. In the mean time, you're only being tolerated.
Our theology, or spirituality, is how we live in reaction to who and how we think, God is.
Within a theology of perfection, you'll never be good enough. You'll always be lacking. Your acceptance will always be dependent on your 'goodness', and even then, being good really means being perfect. This is the essence of religion - trying to appease and please God through my personal works of goodness and attempt to be righteous.
Peter writes, 'I am holy; you be holy', in 1 Peter 1:13.
The concept of being 'holy', is in itself the idea of being 'set apart', being 'separated' and/or being 'different' than the norm.
No wonder this plays so well into a theology of perfection. Holiness in this context would then mean 'being separated from the world', knowing that I am then holier, different, and not like the other sinners around me. It brings real-life separation and real-time judgement towards others. It brings us back to where we started, where I now become the one who scrutinises, evaluates, assesses, and criticises, not only my own life and behaviour, but especially that of others.
This breaks me apart.
Fractures my self.
Never good enough.
Holey, not holy.
A theology of brokenness breaks you open. It doesn't scrutinise, judge, evaluate or criticise. It points out, invites, embraces, and accepts my holey-ness. I am broken. I am not perfect and never will be.
A theology of brokenness acknowledges my incompleteness yet at the same time highlights my infinite worth.
The idea of 'holiness' now shifts from being separated from the world, to being separated unto Him.
That changes everything.
Let yourselves be pulled into a way of life shaped by God's life, a life energetic and blazing with holiness.
~ 1 Peter 1: 16
Instead of being perfect, the acceptance of my holeyness now becomes the way leading to holiness. This is the essence of grace. It is anti-religion. It has no prerequisites to be perfect. It only asks to accept grace itself as proof of being accepted and loved just as I am.
It takes some faith to do this - almost too good to be true. Paul explains it like this in Galatians, 'God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.'
Being holy has nothing to do with being perfect or being better. It has everything to do with knowing how holey I truly am, and in that holey-ness, being held together and loved by a Father, until I understand am complete in Him - wholly, who I am.
A prayer of holeyness
Help me to understand the width, depth, and height of your love for me and the world
Guide me on this journey of life that I must travel
With a deep consciousness of your grace and presence
Help me to accept my holeyness
Help me to embrace your holiness
Lead me to a place where I can wholly live in your grace
Set me apart and break me open
Let me live truly, in you