Imperfection is defined as the quality of condition of being imperfect. Synonyms for imperfection include flaw, defect, failing.
“He’s not perfect.” “I’m not perfect.” “Nobody’s perfect.” We hear it all the time.
It’s interesting how we like to think of ourselves as imperfect. The base word of imperfect is perfect. Adding the prefix “im” makes it negative. Notice the hidden statement in the word im-per-fect: “I’m perfect.”
In thinking of ourselves as humans, we begin with the idea of perfection. Where does this come from?
We include perfection in the idea of ourselves because we know deep in our consciences that we have fallen from innocence and we wish desperately to return to that perfect state.
Unfortunately, we assume falsely that we are still in the image of God. We were originally. Then we fell out of the image of God and in to the image of Adam.
When we think of ourselves as perfect with some imperfections, we live in pride and falsity because we have fallen so much farther than we realize. We didn’t just lose perfection. We lost everything. We lost life altogether.
The flesh would have us believe that we are merely imperfect so that we will strive to make up the percent that is not perfect. The underlying assumption is that when we do, we will be perfect again like God. It also assumes that it is our job to make up the percent. These deceptive mindsets are the root of much frustration in the spiritual life.
Think about it: Lucifer strove to be God and fell (Is. 14:14). Adam and Eve tried to be God and fell (Gen. 3:5). We try to be God and fall (Romans 10:3). What does the Scripture say comes before a fall? Pride (Prov. 16:18)
Only through surrendering to the resurrection power of Jesus Christ living within can we live any differently than Lucifer or Adam and Eve did.
The starting point is the acceptance of the fact that in the fall we lost absolutely everything. That includes life. The only road to victory from where we stand begins with acceptance of the fact that we are dead. In other words, death is the only place to start that leads to victory. If we begin our spiritual journeys anywhere else, we will fall and keep falling because the hidden sin of pride will trip us up at every turn (Prov. 6:18).
Instead of believing the lie that we are only imperfect, we must embrace the truth that we are dead. We can walk around and talk, work and play, but we are merely living as corpses if His life is not filling and leading us. When I believed it was my job to sanctify myself, I was miserable and led a fruit-frustrated life. Since absolute surrender to the Holy Spirit, I am content, usually joyful and leading a fruitful life without effort. Really. There’s just no comparison between the two and no question of ever going back to living like a corpse again.
Thinking of ourselves as dead might seem awkward at first because we are offended at our nothingness. However, once we humble ourselves and get our minds around this truth, the real journey of life begins. Our understanding and acceptance of our dead state of independence opens wide the path for us to access the life of dependence on the Risen Christ within (Luke 17:21). On the other hand, the more we believe we have life without Him, the more we close off our path to victory.
In conclusion, the humanistic idea of Christians being imperfect humans is false and rooted in pride. On the contrary, the idea of all people being dead without Christ is true and rooted in humility. Ultimately, each of us must decide how we will think of ourselves which in turn will determine how and who we are (Prov. 23:7).
As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins,
When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins,
Even when we were dead (slain) by [our own] shortcomings and trespasses,
I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob? He is not the God of the dead but of the living!
Nor will people say, Look! Here [it is]! or, See, [it is] there! For behold, the kingdom of God is within you [in your hearts] and among you [surrounding you].
For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.
Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.