Sunday, October 02, 2005

Alive? Then Strive!

Has anyone ever told you that if you strive to be perfect you will be setting yourself up to fail? I have and I used to believe it. But one day I began to think about it and I now believe if you don't strive to be perfect then you will be setting yourself up to fail. For if you don't strive to become perfect then you will never get better than you already are. Just the same, we cannot grow closer to God if we don't strive to become more like Him. In fact, Jesus tells us in Matthew 5:48 that we are to be perfect!

You may be asking yourself, "Did Jesus really mean perfect?" Well, yes and no. In this life we cannot be flawless, but for those of us who have accepted Christ as our Lord and Savior, we have been made perfect in God's sight. We are now perfect because of our eternal union with the infinitely perfect Christ. When we accept Him, we become His children and we are declared "not guilty" and thus righteous because of what Christ, God's beloved Son, has done for us. This perfection is absolute and unchangeable, and it is this perfect relationship that guarantees that we will one day be "completely perfect" (See Colossians 2:8-10; Hebrews 10:8-14.)

Even though it is not possible to be "perfect" on this earth, we should still strive to be. Paul, in Philippians 3:12-14, says:

I don't mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection! But I keep working toward that day when I will finally be all that Christ Jesus saved me for and wants me to be. No, dear brothers and sisters, I am still not all I should be, but I am focusing all my energies on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I strain to reach the end of the race and receive the prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us up to heaven.
In this passage, Paul used perfection to mean mature or complete, not flawless in every detail. He knew that it was impossible for any of us to be perfect here on earth, but he did understand that, even though at this moment we aren't truly perfect, we will become perfect when we reach our destination as Christ-followers: Heaven. Paul knew the importance of working toward the day when we will all become completely perfect.

As we strive to become perfect, Christ is progressively helping us to become holy in order to be set apart for His special use. Don't be surprised, ashamed, or shocked that we still need to grow; we can never stop growing in our relationship with Christ. If we reach a "spiritual plateau" then we aren't growing and therefore our relationship with Christ will not grow.

Do you feel like you're relationship with Christ has become stagnant? Have you found yourself at a "spiritual plateau"? Our tendency to sin must never deter us from striving to be more like Christ. He calls all of His disciples to excel, to rise above mediocrity, and to mature in every area, becoming like Him. The best way to do so is to purposely apply Scripture to all areas of your life, accept the discipline and guidance Christ provides, and by giving Him control over your desires and goals. When we let go, the Lord will provide the strength for us to overcome any obstacle, therefore rendering the "I'm not perfect" excuse useless. For those of us who are Christians, we have the power of God's Spirit working in us. We can learn and grow daily, motivated by love and not by fear or pride, knowing that God gives the energy to become complete and mature.


Anonymous said...

Collin you are doing an awesome job! I love you -Channing

Anonymous said...

This is one of the best writings so far. I gave the site address to 2 friends this evening. It's a good thing the page doesn't get blurred from being read so much. You already know how I feel around you and what you are striving to do. I was criticized by a brother the other day for a trait which he said I have so we can always be keep trying. Myrt