Here are 13 Bible verses for what the Scriptures say about perfect and perfection. Do you struggle with feeling like you have to do everything exactly right? Or do you give up with frustration when you can’t achieve impossible (and unrealistic) standards?
Read on to learn more about how Scripture explains God’s standard of perfection and His expectations for you.
- 13 Scripture Passages about Being Perfect
- 1. Matthew 5:48 – Be perfect as your Father is perfect.
- 2. 2 Corinthians 12:9 – My power is made perfect in weakness.
- 3. 1 John 4:18 – Perfect love casts out fear.
- 4. 2 Samuel 22:33 – He makes my way perfect.
- 5. Psalm 18:30 – His way is perfect.
- 6. 1 Chronicles 29:9 – With a perfect heart they offered willingly to the Lord
- 7. 1 John 4:17 – Love is perfected in us.
- 8. Hebrews 11:39-40 – Together with us would they be made perfect.
- 9. Philippians 3:12 – Not that I am…already perfect.
- 10. Matthew 19:21 – If you would be perfect.
- 11. 1 Corinthians 13:9-10 – When the perfect comes.
- 12. Hebrews 12:1-2 – Jesus, the…perfecter of our faith
- 13. Isaiah 26:3 – You keep him in perfect peace.
- Is it Sinful to be a Perfectionist?
- What Does the Bible Say About No One is Perfect?
- Are You Made Perfectly in God’s Image?
13 Scripture Passages about Being Perfect
Read these Bible verses to learn more about what the Bible says about perfection.
1. Matthew 5:48 – Be perfect as your Father is perfect.
You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.Matthew 5:48, ESV
As I researched these Bible passages about perfection, I admit that this passage from Matthew 5:48 was one of the toughest ones for me to understand.
God knows that we are sinful human beings. Why would God call us to perfection when He knows it’s something impossible for us to achieve?
Our English understanding of the word “perfect” means without fault and acheiving an ideal standard. Feels impossible, right?
Here is where understanding the original language of the text gives deeper meaning. The Greek word used is “teleios”.
According to Journey to Imperfect, “teleios” means:
- Complete in all its parts
- Full grown, of full age
- Completeness of Christian character
Greek philosophers used the word teleios as something being in its intended function.
A deeper understanding of this passage is that God is calling us to grow to be more like Christ, to imitate God the Father, and to allow the work of the Holy Spirit to guide us.
Your task is to Grow in spiritual maturity as you develop a closer relationship with God. Wow, doesn’t this give the passage a whole new insight?
2. 2 Corinthians 12:9 – My power is made perfect in weakness.
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.2 Corinthians 12:9
This passage written by Paul to the church at the city of Corinth is one that brings great comfort to me and so many Christians.
Earlier in the chapter is says Paul was given a “thorn in the flesh” to keep him humble. We don’t know exactly what this thorn was, but Bible scholars have guessed that it was some type of physical illness, perhaps eye problems (since Paul was blinded when he converted and changed from Saul to Paul), or some other ongoing infliction.
Three times, Paul asked God to remove this thorn from his life, and three times God said no because he wanted to keep Paul humble. Paul then wrote this famous passage about how His (God’s) grace is sufficient because in our human weakness, that’s when God’s power is revealed the most.
3. 1 John 4:18 – Perfect love casts out fear.
There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.1 John 4:18
There’s a lot to fear in today’s world. Whether it’s sickness, loss of a loved one, leadership of politicians, and other troubling world events. Then there is the amazingly fast pace of how we try to get things done and manage all of life’s responsibilities. It’s understandable if you feel anxiety.
Yet God calls you to something different from what the world offers. God’s love is perfect, and in His perfect love there is no room for fear. Let go of your worries and trust in God’s protection for yourself and your loved ones.
4. 2 Samuel 22:33 – He makes my way perfect.
God is my strength and power: and he maketh my way perfect.2 Samuel 22:33, KJV
The King James Version translates this passage with the word “perfect”. Other versions, such as NIV and ESV say “blameless”. Both ways show us that God is the one for you to rely on. He is where your strength and power come from.
When you rely on Him, he will lead your steps and protect your way.
Where does the Bible say God’s timing is perfect? There isn’t one specific Scripture passage that says God’s timing is perfect, yet this passage in 2 Samuel 22:33 is a clear example of how God directs you when you follow Him.
5. Psalm 18:30 – His way is perfect.
This God—his way is perfect;Psalm 18:30
the word of the Lord proves true;
he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.
We can trust that God is truthful, and we can give rest and protection in Him.
What Bible verse says God’s plans are perfect? While there are no Bible passages that say exactly that God’s plan is perfect, this key truth is evident throughout Scripture. This passage from Psalm 18:30 says God’s way is perfect. You can trust that He will guide your steps.
6. 1 Chronicles 29:9 – With a perfect heart they offered willingly to the Lord
Then the people rejoiced, for that they offered willingly, because with perfect heart they offered willingly to the Lord: and David the king also rejoiced with great joy.1 Chronicles 29:9, KJV
In the King James Version (KJV) of this passage, the word “perfect” is used to describe the people’s hearts as they worshipped God. The English Standard Version (ESV) and New International Version (NIV) say “whole heart”.
No matter how it is translated, there’s a clear understanding that as the people gave offerings for the Temple of the Lord (gold, silver, bronze, iron, wood, and more), they gave with willing hearts.
Do you give to God with a willing heart? Do you offer your time, talents, money, and your very life to him? In 2 Corinthians 9:7, it says that God loves a cheerful giver. Whatever you offer to God, give it willingly.
7. 1 John 4:17 – Love is perfected in us.
By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is so also are we in this world.1 John 4:17, ESV
God is love, and when you abide in God, He gives you His perfect love. Because you are sinful and live in a sinful world, you will not be perfect in this lifetime. Yet God continues to grow you spiritually through your life experiences when you turn to Him in faith.
In this way, His love is being perfected in you.
8. Hebrews 11:39-40 – Together with us would they be made perfect.
These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.Hebrews 11:39-40, NIV
Hebrews chapter 11 is called the Faith chapter of the Bible. The chapter is an in-depth list of the saints of God who came before us and lived by their faith. Included in the chapter are Adam, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, and many others.
Hebrews 11 explains how these forefathers lived by faith and experienced God’s hand at work in their lives.
Then the chapter ends with these verses 39-40 explaining that as much as these people are to be commended for their faith, they were not rewarded with the ultimate promise during their earthly life. The best promise of God is eternal life with Him after we die.
When it says that these people of faith would be “made perfect”, it’s not by their good works here on earth, but that they would achieve perfection after death in eternal glory with God.
9. Philippians 3:12 – Not that I am…already perfect.
Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.Philippians 3:12
The book of Philippians talks about how we run the race and press on toward the goal of eternal life with God. Forget the past with its sins and mistakes, and move forward in freedom because of what Jesus has done for you.
When Satan reminds you of your past, remind him of his future.
10. Matthew 19:21 – If you would be perfect.
Jesus said to him, “If you would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”Matthew 19:21
A rich young man came to Jesus and asked what he needed to do to gain eternal life. Jesus told him to keep the 10 Commandments. When the man told Jesus that he had kept them all (which, by the way, is impossible for us as humans), Jesus then replied that if he wanted to be perfect, he should sell all he had and give it to the poor.
The man went away sad, because he was very rich.
The point of Jesus’ teaching was not that you have to give up all earthly possessions, but to look at your heart. Where you are putting your trust? Are money and earthly things more important to you than following God?
I admit there are times when I have put these ahead of my faith and trust in God, especially times when we didn’t have a lot financially and I gave in to worry instead of trusting God to provide.
A worthy goal for all of us is to hold our money and possessions with open hands. We use them in service to God, but we don’t cling to them.
11. 1 Corinthians 13:9-10 – When the perfect comes.
For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away.1 Corinthians 13:9-10, ESV
The NIV translates this verse as, “For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears.” Completeness (or perfection) will come when Jesus returns to earth or for each of us when we die and are given eternal life with God.
God’s truth in the Bible gives us all we need for salvation and to guide our earthly life, but we only see an understand a portion of God’s bigger plan. Someday, we will have a deeper understanding.
12. Hebrews 12:1-2 – Jesus, the…perfecter of our faith
Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.Hebrews 12:1-2
Hebrews 11 (listed as #8 above) is the Faith chapter of the Bible. These verses in Hebrews 12 are the next passage after it. Reading Hebrews 11, you see that a long list of people have followed God throughout history. The Bible records their amazing stories.
Now, it is your turn. You are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses, which is saints who are worshipping at God’s throne in heaven right now. Use their example as a motivation to throw aside every sin and weight that brings you down. Run your race of faith with endurance!
13. Isaiah 26:3 – You keep him in perfect peace.
You keep him in perfect peaceIsaiah 26:3
whose mind is stayed on you,
because he trusts in you.
This beautiful passage from Isaiah is a fantastic verse to use as a prayer anytime you are feel anxiety, worry, or stress. You can take your thoughts captive to obey Christ by keeping your mind focused on God. When you do, your Heavenly Father gives you perfect peace that goes beyond human understanding.
Is it Sinful to be a Perfectionist?
Yes, being a perfectionist can be rooted in the sin of pride.
At first glance, the concept of being a perfectionist seems like a good trait. You have high standards, and you want to do things well and achieve results.
Yet a deeper look shows a different picture. The root causes of perfectionism are not positive.
According to VeryWellMind, some traits of perfectionists include:
- Fear of failure (or fear of success)
- All or nothing thinking
- Being highly critical
- Low self-esteem
According to Pastor Dave Online, perfectionism is really the sin of pride. Perfectionism is a battle of self-worth and a lack of trust in God’s acceptance of you through Jesus’ saving work on the cross.
While God says that He sees you, forgives you, and accepts you, the perfectionist continues to cling to a false sense that he or she can promote their own perfection to look good to themselves and in the eyes of others.
Whoa. Is anyone else feeling as convicted as I am about these concepts?
This isn’t to say that as a Christian you shouldn’t have high standards or strive to do your best. What it is saying is that relying on yourself and your goodness alone will never be God’s desire you. Instead, God wants you to rely on Him for your self-worth.
What Does the Bible Say About No One is Perfect?
The only person who has lived on this earth who was perfect is Jesus (1 Peter 2:22).
Romans 3:10-12 says, “None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one and Ephesians 2:1 says, “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins.”
Are You Made Perfectly in God’s Image?
Genesis 1:27 says, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”
Psalm 139 states,
For you formed my inward parts;Psalm 139:13-14, ESV
you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
Humans were created in God’s image, and God is perfect. You are beautiful creation of God. However, you are not perfect because you were born into sin and live in a sinful world.
What are these Bible verses teaching you about perfection? Tell us about it in the comments below.
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10 Bible Verses about Feasting – Have you taken your place at God’s table? Learn how to enjoy his good gifts for you.
When Satan Reminds You of Your Past – What to do when they enemy puts you down for past mistakes.