I am a lousy cook, both in terms of the quality of food coming out of my kitchen and my affection for the chore. (The fact that I perceive cooking as a chore probably says it all.) In light of my lack of cooking prowess, discovering I make Ezekiel bread—so homemade I grind my own wheat—usually shocks people. Amazingly, in the seven plus years of making Ezekiel Bread, I have never produced a “failed” loaf...until recently. Into the oven went three nicely risen loaves; out of the oven came three badly sunken loaves. (The picture does not do the tragedy justice.) Instead of nicely arched squares of bread on our breakfast plates, next to the eggs, lay a pathetic U-shaped slice of bread. But, despite its look, the three sunken loaves tasted good, like every other loaf previously baked. In a sense, you could say that my sunken batch of Ezekiel bread resulted in complete—containing all of the ingredients and tasting like Ezekiel bread—but imperfect loaves. Perfectly complete while not being perfect. Actually, this is exactly how Jesus, and his fellow Jews, understood the word perfect.
In the Hebraic mindset (Jesus’ mindset) the idea of being perfect was not “always doing everything exactly right…a checklist of things performed without error…or even an avoidance of all sinful acts.” Perfect meant to be whole, complete, mature, without defect. Going back to my sunken loaves of bread, we can be complete while still not always looking or doing everything right.
Are you fully devoted to God but sometimes your efforts result in sunken loaves? Take heart! You’re still perfect as your Heavenly Father is perfect.