Our Daily Bread | How to be perfect

For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy. Hebrews 10:14

Christmas is the time of year when the pressure to be perfect intensifies. We imagine the perfect celebration and then put forth our best effort to make it happen. We shop for the perfect gifts. We plan the perfect Christmas Day meal. We choose the perfect greeting cards or write the perfect family letter. But our striving leads to discouragement and disappointment when our ability to imagine perfection exceeds our ability to implement it. The carefully chosen gift receives only a halfhearted thank you. Part of the meal is overcooked. We find a typo in our Christmas greeting after we’ve mailed the cards. Children fight over toys. Adults resurrect old arguments.

Instead of being discouraged, however, we can use our disappointment to remind ourselves of the reason Christmas is so important. We need Christmas because none of us is or can be all that we want to be—not for a month, a week, or even a day.

How much more meaningful our celebrations of Christ’s birth would be if we would give up our faulty concept of perfection, then focus instead on the perfection of our Savior, in whom we are made righteous (Rom. 3:22).

If your Christmas celebration this year is less than ideal, relax and let it be a reminder that the only way to be “made perfect forever” (Heb. 10:14) is to live by faith in the righteousness of Christ.

What expectations do you have for the Christmas season? Are they idealistic or realistic? Think about what you can do to focus more on Christ and the meaning of His birth.

Dressed in His righteousness alone, faultless to stand before His throne. Edward Mote

INSIGHT: In today’s passage the word righteousness stands out. It is important to see how Paul describes it. Righteousness is not achieved by works (v. 20); it is given freely to all who believe by faith (v. 22) and is demonstrated in the sacrifice of Christ (vv. 25-26). As verse 23 says, “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” But God makes sinners righteous through the sacrifice of Christ.

Source: Our Daily Bread

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