The Beauty of Imperfection
Written By: Julia Tyack
Paul’s premise was that God is about wrath and punishment. As long as this Christian theology was in our minds, it is little wonder that we could not see the real force of Jesus’s new vision of God.
I am sure that almost every Christian would naturally read the instruction of Jesus not to judge others in the light of an accepted Christian premise that all judgment should be left to God. No, that is not the line of reasoning that Jesus is on about. The whole passage is based on his view that we should not retaliate, but be forgiving and non-judgmental on the basis that this is how God is. It is true that God is not in the business of judging anybody, not now, not ever – that the whole warf and woof of Xian theology and most of NT is against this line of thought. Matthew continually harps on the fear of punishment and hell fire as if that was the motivation Jesus was on about.
Lately I have been musing a lot on the implications of accepting that God has made and has given us an imperfect earth in an imperfect universe – if what God has given humanity is to be seen as a Promised Land, it is a Promised Land only in potential. That is a goal that we are to embrace and work toward making it a Promised Land. And we were given an imperfect humanity. If we allow this reality to sink down into our consciousness, it makes a tremendous difference to the way we view our imperfections and the imperfections of others. It is not something that should produce constant shame and guilt and self-flagellations as in religious preoccupation. All human beings are flawed beings – and this we need to accept as for our own good and proper development. Why get into a lather of guilt about our flawed status? If God expected us to be perfect he would have made us perfect. These things should be basic not only to accepting that we are flawed beings and accept that everyone else that we have to relate to are flawed – and start treating them as “beautifully flawed.” I remember reading that a certain woman made a wonderful funeral speech about the husband David whom she deeply loved. David was flawed, she said, but “beautifully flawed.” Humanity is a creative wonder, always a potential genius whose essential nature is to love and be loved – but it is given humanity to discover the wonder of what humanity is, even as ones struggles with this piece of “challenging real estate” of his own nature. Sometimes we need to be more forgiving of ourselves, and especially we need to be more forgiving of others. Flawed humanity in a flawed world – an endless source of humour, indeed! We would not have anything to laugh about or at in that perfect world of religious imagination. Perhaps that’s why hell has become a more interesting place than heaven.