Six chapters done! Ten more to go! It slightly boggles my mind that I have kept on top of this.
Anyway. Today's was slightly more confusing. I mean, I understand the basic part: don't be a hypocrite. Don't obsess over following God's laws so much that you miss God. I think that was made clearest with the example about honouring your parents. If you tell your parents everything you have belongs to God, then you can't honour your parents. I think that's what that example means, anyway (like I said, it was confusing).
And am I a hypocrite? In a lot of ways, I am, because I'm holding myself to a perfect standard and failing miserably. But then I feel that I get knocked for being a perfectionist, too. Am I being perfect to earn love? Well, yes. But love is generally only given when you are perfect. My sloppiest days don't get much love. So what am I supposed to do--not even try? I think I've been told that, that I should just sit with God's love, or what not. But love shouldn't make you sit. It should make you act. Love that's making me sit on the couch isn't much. Love that is making me do things, that's making me try to love people, that is trying to perfect me...that's more powerful.
And does God love me all of the time, regardless of if I'm trying? Allegedly, yes. But He also wants me to try to be perfect. So aren't I doomed to fail? If I try to be perfect, I'm trying to follow the word of God (which is something I'm supposed to do), and possibly being a perfectionist, and possibly have people accuse me of being a hypocrite. It isn't a fair system.
Of course, people are flawed. And a lot of time stupid. People can knock me for being a perfectionist, but God's the one who is trying to perfect me. I want to be perfect too. There's no harm in trying to succeed, when you know that you are going to fail. People might complain that it's love proven by works, not faith, but I think you show love in works. You show faith in works. My attempts prove that I'm trying to love. And if people aren't going to recognize that...well, I have to ignore that.
I try to please people out of love. I try to be perfect out of love. It's a doomed system, but I knew that when I signed up. I think I've got a shot at being better, though. More than I would otherwise.