ODJ: the perfect lie

May 20, 2015 

READ: Ezekiel 27:1-36 

Son of man, sing a funeral song for Tyre (v.2).

My name is Regina, and I’m a recovering perfection addict. What’s funny is that I willingly—and ironically—cover the mistakes and failures of others. But when it comes to the standards I set for myself, I can be ruthless.

Prophesying to the nation of Israel, Ezekiel foretold of coming events to God’s chosen people but also to the surrounding nations. Ezekiel 27 records God’s judgement on Tyre, a civilisation known for its arrogant pursuit of self-sufficiency (v.2). Exquisite in beauty, the city gained not only abundance, but strength. Speaking of Tyre’s great influence, the Lord declared, “Men from distant Persia, Lydia and Libya . . . hung their shields and helmets on your walls, giving you great honour” (v.10).

Because its consequences are readily visible, we can easily spot the dangers of demanding faultlessness from others (Luke 11:46). Equally offensive to God is requiring perfection from ourselves (2 Corinthians 10:12). Measuring our lives by the standards of others while trying to protect ourselves, we can wrongfully believe that by avoiding error we will avoid pain. Desiring perfection for any number of reasons, we try to: gain the attention or affection of others; hold back any emotional tidal waves of regret; and guarantee provision as we depend on ourselves.

But the desire for perfection is nothing more than an idolatrous high place, and our reliance on humanity will only lead us into bondage and ruin (Ezekiel 28:2,7-10).

—Regina Franklin

365-day-plan: Proverbs 5:1-23

Read Hebrews 10:16-23 to understand our true source of affection, protection and provision. 
Identify an area of your life where you rest on your own efforts. In what ways might this place be an idolatrous altar?