Jacob’s Well is a place where we say, “no perfect people are allowed.” It’s a tagline that we rehearse as a reminder that we’re all in need of rehab and that each one of us are equal at the foot of the cross. It’s a sarcastic way to encourage transparency and authenticity in a world where people are encouraged to wear masks and put up fronts to be someone they’re not.
Yet Jesus once said, “Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect.” What did he mean by that? It’s interesting that he follows that up with warnings against hypocrites who give to the needy and pray so that others can see them and then goes on to teach about asking for forgiveness when we sin. Didn’t his beloved disciple John teach us that, “If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us.”
The word perfect in the Greek is telios, which gives the idea of being “complete” or “whole.” So maybe perfection in the biblical sense isn’t so much about doing as much as being. Yet so many of us have tried to complete ourselves with relationships, money, partying, making a name for ourselves, or knew we were incomplete so resorted to addiction or depression to cope. Jesus’ desire for you is to be complete–but we can’t manufacture it, we can only receive it. And when we are filled with the love of God and presence of God, we begin to get real and no longer have the need to make up for where we fall short spiritually by pretending or exaggerating or hiding. This is at the heart of transparency, of authentic spirituality. But it requires vigorous honesty and diligent humility, yet it results in in a life of freedom and completion and wholeness.
So, at Jacob’s Well there are no perfect people allowed and what we mean by that is hypocrites that live fake lives trying to convince the world they are better than others. Our desire is for a church full of people full of the light of Christ shining through their transparent lives touching others with hope.