Pursuing Perfection with Kanye West and Nicki Minaj

Nicki Minaj has just released her album Queen. But she’s already using technology to improve the opening track.

In 2016, Kanye West revealed that his album, The Life of Pablo, would be ‘an innovative, continuous process; the album will be a living, evolving art project.’

These artists are doing with their art what we all want to do with parts of our lives.

Re-record.

Self-improvement?

We say things we shouldn’t. We make silly mistakes in important exams. We fall into that sin. Again.

But we can’t re-record.

We wish we could. We wish we could edit bits of our life story that have led to suffering and heartache.

We wish we could improve, not our art, but ourselves.

Real improvement

Improvement’s a great thing. But Christians aren’t in the business of self-improvement. It’s God who’s transforming us (Colossians 3:9-10).

We’re all works-in-progress. Christians are caught up in God’s own ‘innovative, continuous process.’ We are all ‘living, evolving art projects,’ to quote Kanye.

But God doesn’t re-record. Instead, he weaves together all our mistakes, all our flaws, even our sin, to complete his perfect masterpiece.

And this is the masterpiece of Jesus in his people – making us look and love like his son (Romans 8:28-29).

The end of improvement

Being perfectly like Jesus in this world is impossible. Like Kanye and Nicki Minaj have found, there’ll always be room for growth.

But we shouldn’t mock these artists for pursuing perfection. Their pursuit is an echo of home – a place where all things will be perfect (Romans 7:17).

If this is our sure and perfect future, shouldn’t we be pursuing the perfect image of Christ more zealously than anything else, knowing it’s God who works in us (Philippians 2:13)? 

But unlike these artists’ pursuit of perfection, God will finish his work (Philippians 1:6). And we will be perfectly like him (1 John 3:2).