Christian Education Snippets 06/22

Dear Colleagues,

Most of us will have heard at some time or other something like this: “He gets so stressed out-it must be because he is a perfectionist.” People who speak like this give us a glimpse as to what their worldview is. This quest for perfection is a fool’s errand. The writer of Psalm 119 knew this full well. He says in verse 96 “To all perfection I see a limit; but your commands are boundless.” He states in this psalm that there is a limit to all perfection. Nothing on earth is without limit or boundary. The boundaries of geography contain the rivers, lakes and oceans of the world. The boundaries of time restrict what we can accomplish in a given day. The limitations of our physical bodies determine what we are capable of doing without assistance from others or some form of technology. Every created thing will decay and wear out-eventually.

Even your cell phone which gave you so much joy when you first acquired it two years ago no longer gives you the sense of status and prestige that it once did. Now it is scratched, the memory is too small and horror of horrors you have to delete some of your photographs in order to continue downloading applications! If only you had the next version then life would be good again! So you think!

There is, however, no limit to God’s perfection. As Creator He is the standard for perfection. We see this in Isaiah 40:13-14: “Who has measured the Spirit of the LORD, or what man shows Him his counsel? Whom did He consult and who made Him understand? Who taught Him knowledge, and showed Him the way of understanding?”

As Christian teachers we need to be aware of our tendencies to demand perfection rather than excellence. One is do-able,the other is not. It is only as the Psalmist ponders His statutes that he sees the limitations of a fractured world of which we are part. This will make us more empathetic in our teaching as our pupils discover for themselves their own limitations and learn to accept themselves and God’s estimation of them: “All beautiful you are, my darling; there is no flaw in you.” (Song of Songs 4:7)

K.M. Ricquebourg