New Year’s Resolution — Be Perfect

Be perfect, therefore as your heavenly Father is perfect. — Matthew 5:48

Wow! I’ve had some doozy of New Year’s resolutions, but I’ve never dared to write down a resolution to be perfect. Even I know that’s not doable. I would have blown this one before I got out of bed this morning.

Resolutions are about positive change but being perfect throws me a curve ball I can’t touch. Maybe my hang up is with the word perfect so I did a little research. St. Luke describes the same discussion early in Christ’s ministry. The words are practically the same until we get to the perfect passage.

Luke records Jesus to say, “Be merciful, just as your father is merciful.” — Luke 6:36. Now perfect I’ll never be, but I can work on being more merciful. Maybe Luke is trying to make my life and goals a little easier. Or maybe Luke is giving us a road map to perfection.

When we show mercy we gain a glimpse of God’s heart. We learn what it feels like to be like God for a brief moment. So maybe Luke is showing us the way. I once had a conversation with a bunch of Judges about mercy. One of them asked me why she should show mercy to a particular defendant. She said, “He hasn’t done a thing to deserve mercy.” I tied to explain that it isn’t mercy if it is earned or deserved. True mercy flows freely from the heart with no expectations. A reduction in a sentence for good behavior or remorse is justice, not mercy. They are different concepts.

We may not be perfect, but we can resolve to be more merciful not just to our fellow beings, but to ourselves, as well. I don’t know a heart that couldn’t use a little bit of mercy. Do you?

 

 

 

About the author

Webb Hubbell, former Associate Attorney General of the United States, is an author and lecturer. His novels, When Men Betray, Ginger Snaps, and A Game Of Inches, are published by Beaufort Books and are available online, in your local bookstore, or you can order autographed copies at webbhubbell.com. When Men Betray won one of the IndieFab awards for best novel in 2014. Ginger Snaps Won the IPPY Awards Gold Medal for best suspense/thriller.

5 Comments +

  1. Excellent-we have lost sight of most of what Jesus taught. perhaps we can attain perfection by setting goals we can work on, attain and be more Christ like in our everyday lives. The Holy Spirit is our tether and lives in and around us all-may we embrace its spirit throughout the new year!

  2. A great message to start the new year, Webb. Thank you. In giving your message about mercy more thought, the one person I could consider being more merciful toward is Donald Trump. My reactions to him pull me away from being merciful, being more Christ-like. It sounds like a huge challenge for me, which in itself suggests it may be worthy of attempting along a path toward mercy, and getting closer to perfection. Happy 2018, dear friend. Tom

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *