Utopia In The New Year

Utopia – an imagined place or state of things in which everything is perfect.

If we are seeking to find perfection in this world, we will be sadly disappointed. There are no perfect people, no perfect churches, no perfect spouses. Every one of us goes through many stages until we step into eternity. The book of Ecclesiastes says that everything has its time and season. There is a beginning and there is an ending and In between there are lots of ups and downs!

There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven.
a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot.
Ecclesiastes 3:1-2

Life often requires us to adjust our expectations to differentiate between the realistic and the idealistic. Utopian or ideal thinking is a real problem if we begin to require our partner to qualify for our love. Do you think that he or she will meet your ideal expectations? They will have their ups and downs, their season for different activities, just like you. Doubtful that they will reach perfection. How about you? Is perfection possible? We need a lot of grace don’t we? At the same time, we can’t just throw caution to the wind and live any way we please. Every single one of us is challenged to improve. What we all need is mercy, an ingredient that God lovingly grants. The difference between perfection and reality is imperfection. How we handle that difference is critical to a successful marriage. Another word for imperfection is often sin. God has commanded us to forgive all sin, no exceptions whatsoever. Forgiveness does not mean approval of sin, it does mean that we will not allow sin to justify the withdrawal of our love. Forgiveness is an absolute.

Perfection is not a requirement for the love of God. He wants you to change because He loves you. He doesn’t require change to deserve His love. His love is a gift that is unconditional.
Do you require change by your spouse to earn your love? Our wedding vows included promises before God to love without condition for better or worse. We all want God to love us in spite of our imperfections. Thankfully, when we fail, He does not withdraw His love from us. He doesn’t say that you must be good enough to deserve His love. The real test of true love is how you treat those who are imperfect (Matthew 5:43-48). Verse 48 tells us that perfection is loving imperfect people.

Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another.
Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.
Colossians 3:13-14

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