Excellence, not Perfection(ism)

I’m listening to a podcast of Love Worth Finding by Adrian Rogers titled “Freedom from the Performance Trap”. I’d provide a link, but unfortunately this is one that iTunes downloaded via subscription (free) a couple weeks ago, and it’s no longer available on their podcast feed–I checked hoping to share it here.

Anywho, he just made this statement in regard to the idea of being a perfectionist (a tendency I’ve expressed struggling with at times before), and how that lines up with Jesus’ statement, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect,” (Mt. 5:48) It is my understanding, and his in this message as well, that “perfect” in this passage (Greek: teleios) carries not so much the idea of being flawless, but rather whole, complete, wholesome, and is even translated at times in the New American Standard translation as “mature”.  It’s an important distinction, I believe.  As he explains it, he goes on to say what I quote below, which I believe is a very good point worthy of consideration:

 Jesus Christ supplies the only perfection that you will ever attain till you get to heaven, and you need to understand it is not perfection that God is looking for in His children, it is excellence.

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3 Responses to Excellence, not Perfection(ism)

  1. peter says:


    thanks for the thoughts. i have always struggled with this passage in the past. i think that mature certainly seems to fit better into the context of the rest of scripture.

    in Christ

  2. Hey James, I have that sermon posted on theGoodQuestion.com. Click on “Categories,” then under “Audio & Documents,” click on “Grace,” and you’ll find “Freedom from the Performance Trap” by Adrian Rogers at the bottom of the page. Another great sermon that touches on this subject is the message right above it, entitled “Urban Promise” by Collin McCartney.

  3. James says:

    Thanks for the link!

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