“I am not perfect, but I am still able to do good!” This is my son’s new motto. It is simple, yet wonderful in theology. Now realize Joel is chanting this benediction in a serious hot-yoga mediation/workout class. I call it the Eastern version of a Native American sweat lodge. But he is also a lifelong Methodist and a preacher’s kid who knows the Holy Bible and the doctrines of the UMC. He is an active member of South Park Church (a UMC) in Charlotte. So, let’s delve into this simple saying with a Methodist microscope.
John Wesley teaches us that we are moving onward towards perfection and that we can expect to achieve it in our life, but he was not talking about being faultless and without mistakes. He was speaking of perfection of love, in other words, of loving perfectly as Christ did. I call it being colorblind like Jesus and loving everyone. So “perfect in love” is the essence of his doctrine of perfection. But that does not mean we are perfect as in “not broken.” I am not perfect, just saved by the grace of God found in faith in his Son Jesus Christ our Lord. If I am perfect in the eyes of God, it will be due to what his Son has gifted me, not by my own earning or devices. I am imperfect as a human being who is using my mistakes and shortcoming to relate to others struggling along on their life-journeys. Hallelujah!
John Wesley also said, “Do all the good we can. By all the means you can. In all the ways you can. In all the places you can. At all the times you can. To all the people you can. As long as ever you can.” I like the details of doing good by Wesley, but I also like the brevity of my son’s motto as well. I like to keep things simple and easy to remember. Joel’s motto is both. Just like Joel, “I am not perfect, but I am still able to do good! Hallelujah!