And it is my prayer that your love may abound more and more, with knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve what is excellent, and so be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God. Philippians 1:9-11
Do I know perfection when I see it? Is it possible for something to be perfect? Is this a trick question?
My short answer is this: I am dumber than a post. A post knows how to be a post. All of my understanding is limited by my ability to only see one thing at a time; to only think about one thing at a time. I cannot be certain that I see the most important thing, or that I think the most important thought. All my sincerity does not guarantee that what I see and what I think is true. A drop of seawater cannot comprehend the oceans.
But God does not abandon those who seek Him. His Holy Spirit is our Guide, our Counselor. He gives us every point of view and every thought that we need. We are not alone.
Do I know perfection when I see it? Is it possible for something to be perfect? These are not trick questions.
There was a time when the world was totally perfect. There will be a time when there is a new earth that will be perfect. We are in the “in-between” time now, when the curse of sin affects everything. But the curse of sin does not pollute God himself, nor does sin prevent God from leading us in the way we should go.
This Infinite Creator God became a man also; as Jesus Christ our Lord. He was always perfect and He remains perfect. The birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is real history. This happened as surely as the sun warmed the earth today. God came into the world to tell us the truth, for mankind cannot find it any other way (John 18:37).
If we ask ourselves questions about our ability to know perfection then we have the opportunity to humble ourselves and seek our Creator. His word is truth (John 17:17). He seeks people who must come to Him for truth (John 4:23, 24). God is the author of truth, and hundreds of millions of people have been given faith in Him through Jesus Christ. These people could admit to themselves that they are blind to truth without Divine help. They recognized perfection in Jesus Christ, and they believed all that He said. In John 8:31 He says, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free”.
What does all of this have to do with Love? Review the key passage at the top of this article. See the underlined portion which says, “so that you may approve what is excellent”? What does this mean? It is more than just recognition of what God says is “right” or “wrong”. God has told us many things; all of them are “right”, but some are “more important” than others. Love is the most excellent way. The perfect God gave us perfect direction.
Love is the most excellent way.
Love is greater than faith or hope (1 Corinthians 13:13).
God says that your Love can abound more and more in knowledge all discernment “so that you may approve what is excellent”. When Jesus gives you faith in Himself you are forgiven for your sin. This is why He is called “Savior”. When you know that He is God Himself, you treat Him as your Lord, your Creator, your Master, your King. This means that you give yourself to Him day by day. How should you do this?
You can “approve what is excellent” above all other good things. If you approve of what He says about Love being the greatest commandment, then you are “approving what is excellent”. If you learn exactly what He means by Love; then you are “approving what is excellent”. If you practice Loving God and people, then you are “approving what is excellent”.
Heaven is about perfection. Heaven is a perfect ‘physical’ environment, and a perfect spiritual environment. While we may tidy up our current physical environment, it will never be perfect. When you Love God, you tidy up your spiritual relationship with Him. When you Love your family and friends, and even your enemies, you are bringing the most excellent spiritual environment possible into their lives. To “aim for perfection” (Matthew 5:48) is to take God’s great commandment seriously.
Approve what is excellent. Practice it. Watch your spiritual life come alive when you are doing what God says is the most excellent way. Experience the fullness of the very-real-God when you are taking this very-real-Lord seriously.
If your Love is abounding more and more so that your knowledge and discernment about Love is abounding more and more, then you can approve what is excellent more and more. We are not alone; God Himself is the greatest part of our lives. He knows if we are serious about doing what He says we should do. If I am apathetic about Love, then my arrogance does not result in knowledge and discernment and I cannot approve what is excellent. Apathy about our Sovereign Lord’s greatest command is a denial of our Sovereign Lord.
Find out who Jesus Christ really is. In humility, surrender your will to Him. Do what He says is most important. Pretty simple really.
The book, “The Most Excellent Way”, can help.