In my tradition we have often been admonished to be perfect as God is perfect, without any teaching that would qualify that admonition and make it achievable. Many have been shipwrecked because perfection is unattainable. The old saints claimed such perfection, but we could see better, we knew better.

In God’s grace, there has been a change of emphasis in recent years.

As I’ve been slowly reading through Genesis, I’m struck by the fact that our patriarchs are far from perfect. Noah went on a drunken binge and exposed himself to his son, then blamed it on the son. Abraham lied about Sarah, putting her in danger to keep himself out of danger. Isaac let himself be duped by his wife and son. Jacob schemed his whole life and let his sons get out of control.

My purpose in life is to please God and advance his kingdom. I’m glad that is the kind of perfection he wants, because I’m no more capable of God-like perfection than our fathers were.