Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Wednesday Encouragements: Being Perfect

Today is the first day of Wednesday Encouragements: A Christian Blogging Challenge. The idea is for Christian bloggers to write posts to edify other Christians. Cali  Villanueva started us off with a great idea for an activity -- Youth Group Game: The Lost Sheep. Now's it time for me to write mine, so here goes.

Be perfect, therefore, as your Father in heaven is perfect.
                          Matthew 5:48

I had a friend -- he's since died -- who used to try to be perfect on Wednesdays. That was his goal. He based his idea of pefection on Jesus, certainly, using the "four absolutes" as a guide. The four absolutes are absolute love, absolute unselfishness, absolute honesty and absolute purity. This friend of mine would set out each Wednesday to live these ideals. He would fail - he said making it twenty minutes was good-- and start over repeatedly throughout the day. He never gave up. 

Maybe I should tell you a little more about this friend of mine. His name was Rev. Robert E. Baggs, but we just called him Bob. As a Baptist pastor he inspired many with his teaching, sacrificial service and love of youth. He was over 80 when he died and well up into his 70s he actively volunteered with the New England Baptist Youth Conference, now known as the Christian Youth Conference at Ocean Park.  He was a passionate teacher and spoke with directness to his students. He was both respected and loved -- I once saw a roomful of teens give him a standing ovation when, at 75, he was introduced as the vesper speaker.

But back to his habit of trying to be perfect on Wednesdays -- a habit he tried to get us all to emulate. I always assumed that the purpose of such exercises was to help us realize that we couldn't be perfect on our own and show us our need for Christ. I suppose that is one purpose. At our faculty retreat this year, though, we were discussing Bob's habit. One of the teachers talked about how such an exercise would help us to identify with Christ, who was tempted in every way but never sinned. By trying to be perfect ourselves, we could understand a little more of what Jesus went through for us. I'd never thought of that, but it is very true. 

Godly conversation can lead us into new ideas, help us to see from new perspectives. It is a holy gift and a real blessing. 

I think I might try being perfect once in a while. To remind me I can't do it on my own, to help me identify with Christ and to develop good disciplines.

Your turn:

Who has been a role model of Christian living for you?

When has Godly conversation brought you new insights?

Have you ever tried to be perfect? How'd it go?

I am participating in the Ultimate Blogging Challenge. This is post #11 of the 30 I need to do in April to meet the challenge.

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