I'm Perfect
Off the Wall, July 09,

Everyone knows none of us were hatched out of the same shell, so to speak. So, it is obvious that no two people may think alike. As a result, people have a right to their own opinions.

But, what really gripes me is when someone infers that he or she is perfect and has no weaknesses or flaws.

I believe I am right by stating that there are some things that get under each of our skins, as the saying goes. In my case, it’s the occasions when people exclaim, “I’m perfect,” that irritates me to no end.

A couple of weeks ago, I was speaking to a senior citizen and he made a comment about something I said. I laughed a little bit and stated, “Well, I guess that is one of many weaknesses.” He, then, had the audacity to state, “I don’t have any,” whereby I reminded him of his prejudicial problem. He became very defensive and proclaimed, “That is your opinion. That is not a weakness.” I disagreed, and he hung up.

He’s not the only one who made similar remarks.

Many years ago when I had my store, a woman and I got into a conversation whereby she stated, “I’ve never committed a sin.” I reminded her right there and then, she had just performed one right at that moment. It was difficult to convince her that we all fall short and do things of which we are not proud.

When one replaces the “Thou shall not’s…” with “Thou shall and it really doesn’t matter,” those, my friends, are committed sins.

Recently while browsing the Internet, I chanced upon a website written by a Baptist minster who claimed, “True Christians are perfect.”

Thinking back when I was a Baptist while in college, I never heard that phrase. He backed up his conclusion from the Scripture verse, 1 John 9: “No one who is begotten by God commits sins, because God’s seed remains in him; he cannot sin because he is begotten by God.”

As a Catholic, I want all Protestants to know that I respect all who subscribe to other teachings. I can only hope that we as fellow Christians are treated in the same manner. In the past as I grew in faith, maintaining my foothold to the Church Jesus Christ established, I heard many ‘born-again believers emote, “All Catholics are going to hell.” Not only do these people not ask questions concerning my leaning, but also I feel they show no reverence.

First and foremost, we as human beings are all subject to failure.
Sin came into the world thanks to Adam and Eve who were the first sinners by defying God’s commands of not eating the fruit in the garden. After he bit into it accompanied by Eve’s watchful eye, man took on a sinful nature.

There are a number of websites that state that there are 125 sins noted in the Bible. One of them, http://peacebyjesuswitnesstoday.org lists 40 sins alone that will send one to Hell. The Catholic Church lists seven deadly sins.

Before we get into understanding why human beings can’t be perfect, we really have to understand what a sin actually is. According to the Catechism of the Catholic Church, “Sin is an offense against reason, truth, and right conscience; it is failure in genuine love for God and neighbor caused by a perverse attachment to certain goods. It wounds the nature of man and injures human solidarity. It has been defined as ‘an utterance, a deed, or a desire contrary to the eternal law.”

This could be the start of a book for all the information that’s available on the subject. I’m not writing another one yet. But what I’m trying to get readers to understand is even righteous persons give in to temptations and fall short of the glory of God.

Referring back to the Scripture of 1 John, he talks about three basic types of sins – The lust of the flesh (gluttony, lust, sloth), the lust of the eyes (greed), and the pride of life (pride, envy and anger). I find it hard to believe that the ‘perfect people’ haven’t fallen victim to any of these offenses.

Here’s an interesting note. Both individuals to whom I spoke were Catholics. No Protestants who have shared their faith with me have ever declared themselves ‘sinless.’

Jesus Christ was the only perfect person who walked this earth. But He, too, was tested as a human being.

- Paul J. Volkmann
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