I recently heard this in an ARP meeting: if we are creations of God, an omnipotent and perfect Being, then we cannot be defective. That would seem to be an obvious truth. But neither are we perfect. We know this is true also. We have been given weakness by God.
“And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.” (Ether 12:27)
How? How do weak things become strong unto us? We must learn to come unto Christ, humbly allow Him to show forth His power in our lives, and become like Him. Paul describes it this way:
And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong. (2 Corinthians 12:7-10)
Perfection through Weakness
We have shortcomings. Christ has asked us to become perfect (see Matthew 5:48). What does He mean by that, if He, Himself, has given unto us weakness? According to Russell M. Nelson, in this scripture, “the term perfect was translated from the Greek teleios, which means “complete.” (“Pending Perfection,” October 1995 conference.) Elder Nelson goes on to describe in detail how this term is used and what kind of perfection (or “completeness”) we can and should seek in this mortal life. I recommend reading the entire talk.
How should we go about seeking perfection? Most of us cringe when we see our weaknesses and shortcomings. Sometimes we try to hide them from ourselves and those around us. Other times we beat ourselves up for our lack of perfection, and allow Satan to convince us that somehow we are too broken, too imperfect. That we truly are defective and that there is no hope for us.
We need to put those thoughts and voices behind us and turn to Christ, seeking His omnipotent strength and love, and allow His power to rest upon us, as Paul says.
We finally abandoned the idea that we could become perfect by ourselves, and we accepted the truth that God desires us to conquer our weaknesses in this life by coming to Christ and being perfected in Him. (A Guide to Addiction Recovery and Healing, p.41)
You may not yet be perfect, but you are not defective. You are a beloved son or daughter of God, created by Him and given the full potential to become like Him. Regardless of what your life looks like now or was like in the past, as you turn to Christ in your weakness, and take His yoke upon you, His strength and power will rest upon you and you will become like Him. It will take time. Be patient and diligent. Walk in faith. It will happen.
I testify that this is true.
- Are you willing to acknowledge your weakness and recognize that you, including your weaknesses, were created by God?
- Write about your weakness and your willingness to be perfected in Him.
- What can you do today to demonstrate your willingness?
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