In the Society of the Perfect, Is There Room for the Imperfect

In the society of the perfect, being imperfect is out of fashion. When we turn on the television or access the internet, we find prototypes of perfect people. Imperfect human beings made up with a sacred appearance. A strong tendency of the present times is the requirement that the other be perfect. This mark of our time comes disguised as “lack of patience”: “I have no patience with the people of my family,” “I am extremely impatient with my co- workers ,” “My parents are not the way I want them “… Phrases like these are more common than we dare to imagine.

In the society of the perfect, does it have room for the imperfect?

Illustrative photo: KatarzynaBialasiewicz by Getty Images

The perfection of the other is demanded at all costs. People who consider themselves perfect require their brothers and sisters to be perfect too. If this does not happen, fights and disappointments happen at aggressive levels.

In Jesus’ time it was no different. The Pharisees, scribes and teachers of the Law, responsible for the care of the temple and, consequently, for the religious formation of the people, considered themselves perfect. They thought they had reached such a fullness that they were entitled to catalog the impurities of the people according to norms and religious criteria that oppressed the human being.

Jesus perceived the hypocrisy contained in the gestures and attitudes of these perfect pretenders. These demanded that the faithful carry heavy burdens and fulfill norms that benefit only themselves. Those who demand perfection from others forget that they are also imperfect. Often, they demand something that even they themselves can not fulfill. They unconsciously occupy God’s place. They become judges: they judge, condemn and decree the sentence. The other, rarely, has a chance of defense, given that, in most cases, judgment is wrapped in perfect gifts.


When we speak of imperfection, we come into contact with our own imperfections. We run into our own limits and failures. A Pharisaic attitude discards imperfection and recognizes himself canonized. The great saints never considered themselves saints in life. What made them holy was the humility with which they clothed themselves. Reconciled with their own humanity, these men and women who are now venerated on the altars, have turned imperfections into steps for holiness . In the sin that was imprinted in their human DNA, they clothed themselves in the power of Christ. They saw in the Master the way to humility, service and giving to others.

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Respecting the process of each person’s walk is fundamental for those who want to build their path of holiness today. Whoever has not learned to respect the imperfections of the other will hardly know the path of humility that will guide him to inner peace .

Jesus understood human imperfections. He knew that the nature that covers us needed to be purified not by rituals of exclusion, but by rituals of inclusion. Christ included in His love those excluded from the love of others.

Only those who understood that as imperfect as the other are themselves discovered the path to love and holiness manifested in the everyday of feelings.


Father Flávio Sobreiro

Fr. Flávio Sobreiro is a parish vicar of the parish of Our Lady of Fatima, in Santa Rita do Sapucaí (MG) Brazil, and is the priest of the Archdiocese of Pouso Alegre (MG). He is a priest in Philosophy at PUCCAMP and theologian at Pouso Alegre Catholic University. He is the author of the book “Amor Sem Fronteiras” [Love without Borders] by Editora Canção Nova. To learn more about the priest and follow other reflections, go to: