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Sometimes we have requirements of other people, yet somehow those same requirements don’t always have to apply to us. After all, we have reasonable excuses. Plus, I know myself so well and I know others so well that I can let one standard slide with me, but not with them. (Hopefully the sarcasm in those last couple sentences comes across through the text.) While we don’t say it out loud or even think so in so many words, sometimes we don’t treat other humans as if we are equals. We act as if we’re better than others. We aren’t always aware that other humans have some of the same strengths and weaknesses that we do, the same struggles and triumphs. We go around acting as if we are above standards, both the ones we set and the ones that others set.

Sometimes we do this the other way around; we have requirements of ourselves that we do not have for others. This can be good, and sometimes it can be bad. If you’re a reforming perfectionist like me, you hold yourself to standards that you absolutely will not let yourself get away with, but everyone else is allowed because they’re “not as perfect as you.” Even when we have requirements this way, it’s still us behaving as if we’re better than other people. After all, I’m so perfect that I can’t possibly hold you to the same standards to which I hold myself; you couldn’t possibly reach. (Sarcasm again in that last sentence.)

But there is a requirement to which we are all held, whether we like it or not. God has a perfect moral standard for everyone, and none of us can live up to it, not even the best of us. We cannot be in Heaven in the presence of God if we do not meet His requirement of complete holiness, because unholiness cannot coexist with holiness. But God knows we cannot reach His requirement, so because He loves us, He reached for us through Jesus. God the Son came to us in human skin, as it were, lived the perfect life we couldn’t live, and sacrificed Himself to cover the sins we’ve all committed, then rose to life again, proving God the Father’s acceptance of the sacrifice. God knew we couldn’t provide help for ourselves, so He did it for us and gave us the choice to get that help. If we’ll admit we can’t reach and then go to God to get His help, we can meet the requirement of perfection.

The Standard
Set Apart and Different
Law and Grace
Reforming Perfectionist