Nonbelievers: Christians Aren’t Perfect and You Don’t Have to Be Either

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One thing that keeps nonbelievers from embracing Christianity is the false notion that they must be perfect, while at the same time, they view imperfect Christians as hypocrites. It’s not about people: It’s about Christ.

The fallacy of Christian perfection

“Surely there is not a righteous man on earth who does good and never sins.”

– Ecclesiastes 7:20

All Christians are a work in progress. Our “daily walk” with God is a lifetime of striving to think pure, do good, and avoid sin. Easier said than done by far.

Jesus said:

“Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

– Matthew 5:48

The above verse is given as an example of something that is often taken out of context. It does not imply that one must be perfect to be a Christian.

Biblical scholar Ellicott points out that Jesus is implying “the attainment of the end or ideal completeness of our being. In us that attainment implies growth.”

In other words, we are not going to attain perfection here on earth. But it is something we strive continually to achieve. Mainly, our aim is to develop the character of God, the Father, which is unconditional love and forgiveness.

Unbelievers: Focus on Christ and not other Christians

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.”

– 2 Corinthians 5:17

For those who may be unbelievers or trying to come to Christ, one thing must be understood: Being a Christian is about being dedicated to Christ.

Don’t look to other human beings as your examples. People are fallible. People will often, if not always, disappoint – even when they are trying not to. Don’t let the shortcomings of others be your measurement of Christianity. Keep your focus on Christ.

“Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him.”

– John 14:21

Some people are turned away from Christianity because of the rules it imposes. But you can’t get away from rules in life. Society has rules at all levels, from conduct in public places to the workplace to institutions. Nations have laws. Thus, God has laws, too.

There is nothing hard or especially difficult about following God’s laws. It is simple as being a good, loving, kind, caring, and supportive person.

“For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. And his commandments are not burdensome.”

–1 John 5:3

God never fails

“For all the promises of God find their Yes in him. That is why it is through him that we utter our Amen to God for his glory.”

– 2 Corinthians 1:20

God and Christ will never fail you. If you keep your focus on the father and the son, you will never be disappointed.

Be all you can be, but no one’s perfect

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”

– Romans 3:23

Everyone sins. Therefore, no one is perfect. Every Christian and every person trying to walk with Christ is going to stumble at some point.

Therefore, the goal of the Christian is not to achieve perfection but to become one with Christ, adopt His teaching and mindset. The goal of the Christian is to avoid sin as much as possible and repent if one slips up.

It’s all a matter of intention. If there is no avoidance of sin or repentance, then there is no respect for God. That’s when a person begins to separate themselves from the qualities of being a Christian, and God as well.

“Everyone who makes a practice of sinning also practices lawlessness; sin is lawlessness.”

–1 John 3:4


Being a Christian is a continuous work throughout one’s lifetime. But it is one that offers tremendous personal growth and a sense of joy that cannot be matched through any other philosophy. Through the Holy Spirit, the Christian is filled with the all-loving power of God and Christ Jesus.

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”

– Galatians 5:22-23