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Simone Biles made headlines around the world when she withdrew from competition at the Olympic Games. I looked at the reasons she gave for her actions, and they made sense to me. As I read, I wondered which sports require such perfect concentration for as long a time as gymnastics does. Not many. Something had changed about Simone’s ability to achieve total concentration. She didn’t want to hurt herself. When gymnasts fail, they can hit the floor or the apparatus.

Ms. Biles has achieved what all gymnasts believe was close to perfection in her gymnastics career. Without going into detail, she has performed routines that no other female gymnast has. Most experts consider her the GOAT: Greatest of All Time in women’s gymnastics. However, withdrawing from competition put a bit of a crack in that perfect status. Should we be surprised that Ms. Biles isn’t perfect after all? Are we? As close as she came, this young lady is fallible, of course. And one day, and that day is fast upon her, she will no longer be able to perform at the level at which she competes today. The sobering truth is, she will eventually no longer be able to do anything at all. She will die.

All data indicate that happens to everyone.

Perfection. Somehow, this idea wanders around in our hearts, and although we would readily admit that no one is perfect, we would all like to attain it or at least come close. Perfect weddings and marriages. Perfect children. Perfect houses. Perfect vacations. (You’ve seen the images on social media, right?) However, being perfect is not obtainable in gymnastics nor in anything in this life. Thus, for Christians it may seem puzzling when we read the New Testament and find many admonitions to be perfect, like this one from Jesus Himself: “You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48). 1 The word “perfect” in Scripture includes meanings of complete, full-grown, and mature. Christians can never obtain those qualities by themselves since “…it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13). Jesus is the perfect one, not us. “For the law appoints men in their weakness as high priests, but the word of the oath, which came later than the law, appoints a Son who has been made perfect forever” (Hebrews 7:28). When people believe in Jesus they are washed from their sins and take on His perfection. That is what the Father sees when He looks at them. They are spotless. Without flaw. Perfect.

“Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen” (Jude 24–25).

Simone Biles has been able to achieve the closest to perfection in gymnastics known to us, but she is far from flawless without Jesus, as we all are. The good news here, however, is that God’s perfection lasts forever. He has been perfect for eternity and will continue to be throughout the ages to come. He will never be imperfect in any way.

And so will His people.

Eternally perfect. I can’t wrap my brain around the idea. I’m unable because I am a fallen sinner with a fallen mind. But I am intrigued by the thought. What will it be like to be perfect for eternity? No clue.

But I am looking forward to it.

1All Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2016). Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles.

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