I have slipped, but I have not fallen
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I have slipped, but I have not fallen

God's grace is there to catch me.

I have slipped, but I have not fallen
Toronto Star

I have slipped, but I have not fallen.

Sounds deep, right? It’s about as deep as the snow I was trying to avoid when I said this. The walkways were icy and had snow piled up on each side. I slipped, but I never fell. There’s a metaphor to be found here.

As Christians, we often are told to be perfect. And this makes sense; there’s literally a Bible verse that says, “Be perfect,” (Matthew 5:48a). What does perfect mean to our society?

We have perfect circles, perfect squares, and other similar geometric terms. But none of these are tangible. I can’t touch a perfect circle; I can’t even see a perfect circle. If drawn by a human, there will be some small imperfection. If shown on a computer screen, it is really just a collection of tiny squares, so small that they appear to form a circle. But it isn’t a perfect circle: it’s still made of tiny, non-circular parts. Like the perfect circle, perfection itself just exists as a concept. It doesn’t really have a physical representation, no matter how close we get.

How in the world are we supposed to achieve that? We are broken human beings. We mess up sometimes. A lot of times, in fact. We try so hard to make sure we aren’t doing anything wrong, but no one is perfect! None of succeed in this attempt. “There is no one righteous, not even one,” (Romans 3:10). I know personally I struggle with this a lot. I know I’m flawed. I know I still slip up and make mistakes, some consciously and some subconsciously. Have I fallen entirely from God’s grace?

The title of this article makes it sound like I have the answer, but I really can’t. I believe in God’s grace and I believe that He will save those who ask Him. I believe He has saved me here on this earth and I believe I’ll get to see Him and live with Him when I die. But I can’t speak with 100% confidence about future events because it’s not under my control. Even still, I do believe I am still saved, and protected by God’s grace.

How can I believe this? If God calls us to be perfect, but perfection is something physical things can’t attain, what hope do I have?

I think we’ve corrupted the word “perfect.”

What if it doesn’t mean “having nothing wrong,” but rather “having everything right.” Let me try and use the English language better. Instead of trying to be better by casting out all bad, let’s try to be better by accepting in all good. The word used in Matthew 5:48 is teleioi. It has been translated into English as “perfect.” But when you look at a Greek Bible Dictionary, it says, “completeness.” It also says words like “of full age” and “man.” I can understand how a translator looked at a word that means “completeness” and understood it as “perfect.” But when it comes to daily application, this makes a huge difference.

When it says man, it’s not making a gender divide, but rather an age divide. It’s talking about man versus child. This can be seen in other places in the Bible. In 1 Corinthians 3, Paul talks about new Christians being given milk, not solid food, because they were still infants. This was a metaphor, by the way, and it is similar to the idea that we need to grow up in God. Think of the difference between an adult and a child. God wants us to become more mature and stronger in Him.

But the cool thing about that chapter in 1 Corinthians, is that he still addresses the people of the Corinthian church as saved by God - as brothers and sisters in Christ. They still mess up; Paul says they have jealousy and are behaving in a fleshly way. But that doesn’t mean they are fallen entirely. They aren’t. They’re still growing.

God gives us grace, and I forget that sometimes. He wants us to be as truly good as we can. Not like doing good things, but ourselves, our person, being very good. Complete. Worrying over past mistakes will not make us complete. We become more complete by seeking ways to emulate God. To have Him fill our broken cracks and gaps, and make us whole.

We may slip, but we are not fallen.
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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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