Along the country road that our family takes to a favorite recreational spot is a house that we always notice. Every time we pass it, someone calls out, “Perfect house!”

We call this ranch-style home by this name because from our vantage point, as we whiz by, it looks flawless. The lawn looks like carpet. The shrubs are perfectly clipped. The windows shine. Nothing looks shabby or out of place.

As we drive past, we usually get a clear indication why the house looks so neat. The owners are almost always outside working to keep things looking nice. With bucket or rake in hand, they seem determined to fight off dirt and decay and unwanted growth to keep their home looking good.

As a homeowner who understands how tough it is to keep everything just right, I can appreciate the efforts of this couple. But for me they also symbolize something else. In Scripture, God says, “Be holy, for I am holy” (1 Pet. 1:16). That means we are to strive for perfection. Like those homeowners, we can never reach perfection. Yet we must keep at it—cleaning out bad habits here, clipping troublesome thoughts there. It takes constant effort, but with the Spirit’s help we are to continue in our drive for perfection.