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Holiness vs. Perfection

As I was listening to my favorite radio station the other day the program hosts had a guest speaker on; I don't remember who, or what the topic was, but the last statement they made has stuck with me: "There is one thought people need to give up, that everyone can be perfect."

Have you ever thought about that? Have you ever gotten frustrated because people do not act perfectly, or do thing perfectly? Why should they? We are all fallen creatures, fallible, and always falling short. Falling short of the glory of God and of other's expectations.

Of course, my mind went to how to apply that to horsemanship. Why do we expect our horse to perform perfectly? Because we set our expectation. There is something wrong with that though....we are imperfect. Everything the horse does is a reflection of who we are and what is on our mind. You can't get frustrated with your horse for misbehaving without first looking at yourself for why the horse misbehaved.

A comment from Tom Mowrey has stuck out with me ever since we rode with him this summer: "The horse is always right." The horse never deviates from being a horse. They are herd animals and their behavior will always match that of what the herd is. That is how they survive. That is why they reflect our behavior, because what our mind thinks, our body hears, and the horse feels. They can't help it. That is how they were designed by their creator.

Now, what can we expect from others if we can't expect perfection? How about holiness from our fellow Christ followers. Holiness is nothing more than being set apart. Just as God is set apart from the ways of the world, so shall we as followers of Christ. This is something that the Lord has commanded since the Old Covenant for the statement, "Be holy for I am holy" can be found in Leviticus 11:44-45, 19:2, and 20:7. In fact, the theme of the book of Leviticus is 'How to be Holy'. God, from the beginning, has been calling His people to be holy, that is why He gathered them in place to be a holy nation, set apart from the rest of the world. From there, while they obeyed God, they attracted the world to God.

Now, under the New Covenant, we are commanded to go into all the world to preach the gospel and make disciples. We are not called to be a holy nation, but a holy people: Christians. Next time you start to get frustrated because you can't perform perfectly, or someone else isn't perfect either, remember we are only made perfect in Christ and His work on the cross. In the earth we are only to be holy, set apart, as ambassadors of God.


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