All Saints' Episcopal Church

How to be perfect!

Mark Twain once said this about the Bible: “I have no problem with those parts of the Bible I don’t understand. It’s those parts of the Bible I do understand that gives me fits.” This is one of those passages we understand.

One of the easiest thing in the world is to become a Christian. You have to go no where, do nothing, and be everything in an instant. At least that is what we think. It is something like quick rich scheme. You do nothing and you get everything. You become part of a pyramid scheme and BHAM, you are a billionaire. Now sit back and be a couch potato. Ask those billioners and they will tell you a different story of hard work and blood seating. But many Christians believe being a christian is simple and easy. Confess your sin into the air, nobody needs to hear it, accept Lord Jesus in your heart, no one needs to know it, proclaim he is your Lord to someone you have no clue about, and then you are Christian. I think this is the very reason why Christians behave the way they do.

I think Mark Twain is right. “I have no problem with those parts of the Bible I don’t understand. It’s those parts of the Bible I do understand that gives me fits.”

There is a bill board on East Main that says, “We want all your money” by . There was a bumper sticker sometime back that read, “I want”. We live in a world that always “I Want”. I want my rights; I want my happiness; I want my way; I want my money”. We live in a society of “I wants”. In this society we live, we have all kinds of things we want and we need and we deserve. But spiritual life requires us to let go of our wants, needs, desires and deservings sometimes. What am I giving to get something what I want? We are in America. There is nothing that is truly free. Freedom comes with perks! Do something about it.

And that whole process of letting go of our wants, needs, desires, and deservings is the starting point of Christian life. It is not enough to simply believe, confess and proclaim. We got to behave. So here are some simple steps to behave. Catch on to one of the three things if you can and that will be a starting point for a good behavior for the true followers of Christ.

  1. Do not think little of: Illness, Debt and Your Enemy.
  2. Learn to control three things: Your mind, your behavior and your greed.
  3. Remember three things you can never take back: An arrow that leaves your bow, a word that escapes your tongue and life that leaves your body.
  4. Convince yourself of three things no one can steal from you: Your intellect, your good behavior, your talents.
  5. Hold on to three things in life always: God, Your Zeal for Life, and Discipline.
  6. Always respect: Your Father, Your Mother, Your Teacher and anyone who teaches you something in life. And that is everyone in the world.
  7. Be kind always to: Children, The Hungry and But most specially the people you meet today.
  8. Do not ever forget three things: A kind gesture, a good advice, a gift.
  9. Always be mindful of three things in life: Truth, Justice and Death.
  10. Three things that will destroy you: Lying, gossiping, stealing.
  11. Three things that will change your world: Kindness, Humility and Patience.

In all of these remember this: Life is given to you by someone else. So is your name. Your education is a gift imparted by someone else, so is your wealth. Respect is earned and given. You were first bathed by someone else and so will be your last bath. The first to dress you was someone you didn’t know then and so will be the last, someone you wouldn’t know and thank in this world. Whatever we have earned in the end, will be of someone else and someone else is going to give us our final rites and rituals.

So in the end, what we know is this. We are here because of someone. We are what we are because someone else trusted us deeply, treated us with dignity and respected us as important. What we hold on in our hearts has the power to either make us better or bitter. Nobody else has the power to destroy us but ourselves. You have heard this. People who hold onto grudge and anger are those who drink poison themselves and expect their enemy to die. One thing and one thing only is required to live what we already know from the Bible. Remember what Mark Twain Said: “I have no problem with those parts of the Bible I don’t understand. It’s those parts of the Bible I do understand that gives me fits.” What do we about it? Practice Humility.

Now that brings me to the point, in the end we all need to join twelve steps program. That is a sermon for another day. But the truth is, to forgive and forget, we got to be humble. Act on what we believe and then confess and proclaim. Christians are made up of one thing: Humility In Action.

Leo Tolstoy: If you are looking for perfect, you are wasting your time. It is no where until you are dead.

Mahatma Ghandi says: There are many causes I would die for. There is not a single cause I would kill for.

Arundhati Roy, Public Power in the Age of Empire, 21st century
“Colorful demonstrations and weekend marches are vital but alone are not powerful enough to stop wars. Wars will be stopped only when soldiers refuse to fight, when workers refuse to load weapons onto ships and aircraft, when people boycott the economic outposts of Empire that are strung across the globe.”

Chinese proverb
“He who seeks vengeance must dig two graves: one for his enemy and one for himself.”

St. John of the Cross, 16th century
“In the evening, we will be judged on love.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson, 19th century
“Religion is to do right. It is to love, it is to serve, it is to think, it is to be humble.”

Winston Churchill, 20th century
“They say that nobody is perfect. Then they tell you practice makes perfect. I wish they’d make up their minds.”

So here it is. What makes your perfect like the heavenly father?

Practice Humility. Die for Others. And then you will be perfect. Stop practicing anything else. You can be perfect. Just be kind, compassionate and welcoming of all. If you see what Jesus speaks of what perfections looks like, here it is.


Fr. Jos+

How to be perfect!
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