Mike Novotny - Is God Imperfect Since We're Imperfect?
Recently a Christian, like many of you, asked me a really unique, insightful question. And the question was this. "Is God not perfect because he doesn't have perfect children"? That's kind of an understatement, right? God's children, Adam and Eve, God's children who've been adopted into his family now, Christians through faith in Jesus, they're obviously not perfect. You and I are obviously not perfect. So does that mean that the Father who raised us, taught us, disciplined us and guided us is not perfect? So let me start with the simple Bible answer. Jesus said in Matthew 5, verse 48, "Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect".
So even though God's got some jacked up kids, is he a perfect Father? Well, Jesus says, yes he is. And that actually leads me to a really important application. Did you know, according to the Bible, while you and I are responsible to teach people and guide people, those of us who are teachers or pastors, ministry leaders, mothers, fathers, mentors, older brothers, influencers, we have this amazing opportunity from God to raise up the next generation but we are not responsible for their sin. It is not a knock on the character of God that his children are imperfect because God always does the right thing.
And I want to apply that especially to those of you who are pastors and parents. You know, if you're a pastor in a church and you're doing your best to be faithful, you're trying to humbly listen and love, you're trying to be courageous and compassionate, you study the Bible, you pray over it, you pray for God's people, and then you find out that your church isn't great. It's far from perfect. It's messy. It's broken. It's sinful, it's just not what you thought it would be. That is not a knock on your ministry. If you're faithful, just like God the Father is faithful, it doesn't make you less imperfect or more responsible.
And moms and dads I need to say that to you too. It's just instinctive when one of your kids makes a bad choice or goes down a bad path to wonder what did I do wrong? What was my imperfection? What should I have done differently? And those are humble questions to ask. But at the end of the day, the answer might be, nothing. Maybe you did pray for your kids. Maybe you did own your mistakes. Maybe you brought them to church. Maybe you prayed for them each day when they were straying. That's not on you any more than the prodigal's father was at fault for his sin.
So we obviously pray that the next generation would make good choices and follow Jesus. But for those of us who are responsible, let's do our best, just like our Father in Heaven always does what's best. And let's remember that each person is responsible for their own choices. I hope that helps you sleep at night. I hope that brings you back to the perfection of your Father in Heaven. And I hope that helps you know how to live in this messy and imperfect world.