Nobody’s Perfect

Published by DonDavidson on

It’s a truism that none of us always does the right thing, and we often do the wrong thing, as illustrated by such well known expressions as “We all make mistakes,” “Nobody’s perfect,” and “To err is human, to forgive divine.” The apostle Paul said essentially the same thing in Romans 3:23: “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.”

Recognition of this fact brings some weighty considerations. First, if I am imperfect, what right do I have to criticize or condemn the imperfections of others? I would be like a pig disparaging the filthiness of other animals while wallowing in a mud puddle. This was Jesus’ point when he said:

Do not judge, so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, “Let me take the speck out of your eye,” and look, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye![1]

The lesson, of course, is that we should be tolerant of the mistakes of others, even when—or especially when—those mistakes hurt us, whether physically, emotionally, financially, or otherwise.

And that leads to another weighty consideration. Since we all make mistakes that hurt others—and since none of us, I’m sure, want to be hurt in response—we should not strike back or seek revenge when someone else hurts us. That was Jesus’ point when he said, “whoever slaps you on your right cheek, turn the other toward him also,”[2] a sentiment echoed by Paul who said, “Never repay evil for evil to anyone.”[3]

But the weightiest consideration of all flows from the fact that God is perfect and wants us to be perfect,[4] and yet we are not. We are like the child who has eaten the forbidden cookies, dropped and broken the cookie jar, and then used the broken pieces to injure our brother. We deserve to be punished. Fortunately, our God is a God of mercy and grace—that is, unmerited favor—who stands ready to forgive our mistakes and misdeeds if we will only turn back to him with a grateful heart and sincere repentance.[5]

[1] Matthew 7:1-5

[2] Matthew 5:39

[3] Romans 12:17

[4] Matthew 5:48

[5] For example, see Romans 3:24, Ephesians 2:1-9, 2 Corinthians 7:10, 2 Timothy 2:24-26, 2 Peter 3:9.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *