Friday, October 24, 2014

The Perfect Man ................... Parables 187

October 18, 1989

The perfect man! He’s the hero on a favorite TV show. He never says anything wrong. He never does anything wrong. He’s clever, witty, good looking, quick thinking, hard working and drives a nice car. What more could a gal want?

But he’s not real. He is the product of a script and a director. He does what he is told and says only the lines given to him. He has a cosmetician who paints over his facial flaws, technicians who solve his mechanical problems and a staff of writers that get him out of every possible mess or problem he could encounter. A perfect man? Not likely.

While some gals dream on, imagining a “perfect 10”, most have to admit it’s impossible to find one. But it would be nice. No relationship problems, only perfect bliss.

Well, before the bubble breaks, there actually is a perfect man. He doesn’t quite fit all the criteria listed above though. He never owned a car. And there are no reliable photos or posters displaying his appearance so we don’t even know what He looks like. He probably worked hard at his trade (carpentry) but there is no record of that either. What we do know is that everything he ever said or ever did totally pleased God.

For some that don’t know the standard of God, that may not seem like a significant accomplishment. Yet God’s rating system goes much higher than our perfect 10. For instance, God says even unloving thoughts are sin, never mind unkind words and thoughtless actions. Let’s be honest, even TV heroes are not given that kind of character.

Lies, evil thoughts, unjust anger against another, selfishness, hate, jealousy -- all mar our hope for perfection. Furthermore, everyone, from a pagan in Africa to the godliest saint in the church, is guilty of something. But not this man. It is said of Him that “even though He was tempted in all points as we are, He was without sin.” That makes Him the only perfect man. Of course, I’m talking about Jesus Christ.

This started out alluding to love -- how did religion come into it? Well, I’m still talking about love. This perfect man offers perfect love too. Here are only a few characteristics of His love: First, it’s unconditional. That means that no matter what we do, He still loves us. His love is not earned or deserved; He loves because it’s His nature to love.

Secondly, His love is enduring, it lasts forever; not like human love, which has limits. His love is kind, patient and never keeps records of our mistakes. He rejoices when we do well, is saddened when we fail, but never gives up on us no matter how many times we let Him down. He holds no grudges and never reminds us of our mistakes once we acknowledge them to Him. In fact, He continually forgives them all.

We might fling “You just don’t understand” at most human lovers but not Him. He came to earth and went through whatever we go through so He knows how we feel. He even feels our pain with us. Whatever our ideas, problems, or concerns, we can take them to Him and He’ll never laugh at us, put us down, or make us feel rejected, inferior or worthless.

And His love is not mere words. That is, He doesn’t just say, “I love you” and then do nothing to prove it. He laid down His life for those He loves. And He did it without rose-colored glasses. He knew that many would turn around and mock Him for it, but He did it anyway. What more proof could anyone offer?

Those who have embraced the gift of His love enjoy His patience with our imperfections, but even more, we enjoy Him. He takes us into an intimacy of relationship where He fully shares Himself. No other man, TV heroes or otherwise, have His inexhaustible resources to draw from, His perfection of character.

Yes, there is a perfect man, only one.

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