Scholars debate over the date Paul wrote his letters to Galatia. Though, the one thing many people agree on is they were some of the earliest New Testament writings.
This is interesting because in Galatians 5 Paul is pleading with the Galatians to not submit themselves to a yoke of slavery.
The kind of slavery he was talking about wasn’t physical… it was spiritual. This was the slavery of perfectionism.
Old Testament law said that anyone who was an ethnic Jew or joined the Jews must be circumcised to show their separation from the rest of the world & their loyalty to Yahweh.
This was a part of fulfilling the law that God set in place to show what His standards, and actual perfection, looked like.
During Jesus’ life, He fulfilled every requirement of that law, which is what made Him the perfect, spotless Lamb that could take on the sins of the world.
When He died & rose, the laws governing morality did not change, but our need to fulfill them perfectly in our own strength did.
Yet, here we are 2,000 years later with a society full of people who get a kick out of labeling themselves OCD.
We love perfection. ❤️
We crave it. 🥺
We want it so bad we can taste it. ☠️
And, the reality is we were made for perfection. God made us & put us in a perfect place so we could live perfectly cocooned in His love.
But we failed.
We rejected His love & way of living. So, Jesus had to die for us to get us back into right relationship with The Father.
So, when we read Paul’s letter to the Galatians in chapter 5, we see one of the first things he addressed with people was their need to stop trying to be perfect in their own strength.
He said “For freedom, Christ set us free. Stand firm & don’t submit to a yoke of slavery again. If you get yourselves circumcised, Christ will not benefit you at all. You who are trying to be justified by the law are ALIENATED from Christ. You have fallen from grace!”
Wow, those are strong words. What Paul was trying to get through to these people ( and us ) is, if you try to achieve perfection by fulfilling the law, you are resisting what Christ did on the cross.
You may not mean to, but you alienate yourself from Christ’s efforts when you try to justify yourself by your own.
We can not, under any circumstance, ever make ourselves perfect. The people of Galatia couldn’t do it through circumcision. You and I can’t do it by organizing and alphabetizing our house.
( Uhm, hello, can I get a witness? I know some of y’all out there know what I am talking about. )
We have to stop perpetuating this idea that chasing perfection is a good thing.
It is completely in opposition to what our Savior already did for us. The crazy thing is, while we have free will & the ability to screw up at any given moment, spiritually speaking, Christ already made us perfect.
We are holy, righteous saints because of what HE DID.
Nothing we could ever do… like being obsessive about organization, or coordinating the perfect family photos, or always having our house in perfect order… none of that will ever make us perfect.
Galatians tells us “You who are trying to be justified by the law ( literally meaning ‘you who are trying to make yourselves perfect’ 😳) are alienated from Christ. You have fallen from grace.”
Friend, let me be direct, you can’t chase perfection and Jesus at the same time.
Jesus did what you & I could never do. Either we learn to accept that & stop trying to sneak in tiny efforts to make our lives appear perfect, or we literally put our hands Christ’s face & say “No thank you. I got this one.”
Which will it be? 🤷🏼♀️
Do you want to live the rest of your life gloating over your obsessive compulsive tendencies?
Or, do you want to live resting in the arms of grace that already achieved perfection so you don’t have to.