I like perfection—a perfectly organized garage, a perfectly formatted report, perfect routines. For some reason, God wired me to have an internal desire and appreciation for completeness.
In mathematics, there is a number considered divine: φ ≈ 1.61803399. Looks perfect, doesn’t it? Well maybe not. Its beauty is not so much in the digits themselves, but in its applications. Known as the golden ratio, it shows up in many places in nature. The animation below demonstrates various distances in the human hand whose relative sizes match the golden ratio.
According to what standard am I seeking perfection? Am I holding myself and others to rules that I invented? Must all my work be governed by the golden ratio? That would be ridiculous! I would get nothing done.
Instead, I must strive for the perfect love demonstrated by the perfect Son of God. Psalm 27:4 says
The one thing I ask of Yahweh, the thing I seek most, is to live in the house of Yahweh all the days of my life, delighting in Yahweh’s perfections and meditating in his Temple.
I know my attention is askew if I fear failure and imperfection. 1 John 4:17-18 says
As we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world. Such love has no fear, because perfect love expels all fear. If we are afraid, it is for fear of punishment, and this shows that we have not fully experienced his love.
Let us then “clothe ourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony.” (Colossians 3:14)