A Better Goal Than Sinless Perfection


Any two people in a close relationship are bound to eventually hurt each other. To most of us, it is no surprise when this happens. It’s simply accepted as the cost of growing close.

Even though it feels terrible to be hurt, it would be a pointless endeavor to define success in the relationship as perfectly avoiding ever hurting the other’s feelings.

Instead, I would say success is using the conflict and the wounds to grow into a bigger, deeper person and to strengthen the relationship by repairing the tears. The cycle of wounding and healing results in strength and resilience. It’s true in relationships, our bodies, our minds, and our natural world.

However, with this knowledge and a desire for optimal efficiency, I might attempt a shortcut to growth by intentionally inflicting the wounds. This will not work. It does not pass the any common sense check. Instead, I wait. The wounds and the hurt will inevitably come. They are always painful but they are also expected.

This is a wonderful way for me think about sin and God. The goal is not to perfectly avoid sinning. It is not a rare, shameful, embarrassing thing and it is not surprising when it happens. It’s painful, but expected. And when it occurs, the perfect forgiveness of God draws me into new depths of being. I use the sin and the forgiveness, the wound and the repair to humbly grow into the best versions of myself. I learn to forgive myself and everyone else from God’s example.

Therefore, let me change the goal from being perfectly sinless to becoming a deep, humble, forgiving human. Let me use my inevitable sin and God’s complete forgiveness to get there.

Progress, not perfection.

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