Sometimes I get mad at myself when I mess up. I think to myself, “Scott, you’re past this—you shouldn’t be doing this anymore.” It’s at those times that I have to realize that I’m not perfect…yet. I’m a work in progress.
Paul, in his God-breathed letter to the church at Philippi says this,
“I thank my God in all my remembrance of you, 4 always in every prayer of mine for you all making my prayer with joy, 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now. 6 And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” (Philippians 1:3-6, ESV).
“And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Paul is saying that God has persuaded him ( I am sure of this). God begins a good work in our lives when we are baptized into Christ, but a lot of us think that’s where the work stops. Some will even go out on a limb to say that when you become a Christians, you never should sin again. Well, if that’s the case, then we violate 1 John 1:8 which says,
“If we say we have no sin we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”
I can probably lay out a mile-long list of sins just from this morning. I know I still sin. We will still sin until we leave this earth. Count on that.
With all things, however, we must be sure to find the middle ground. Just because we’re a work in progress doesn’t mean we have a license to sin without consequence. Paul writes to the Roman church,
“What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? 2 By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it?” (Rom. 6:1-2).
We aren’t perfect, but we must strive for that perfection that God puts in our sights. That’s a process called sanctification. We must reach up to God every single day, knowing that He has a plan and a purpose for us, but we must do our part to live as close to His standards as we can.
We spend so much time beating ourselves up over not maturing as fast as we’d like, not growing as quickly as some of our brothers and sisters. We need to really get the point that we are on a journey of holiness, not a quick fix, do-it-yourself, no help needed salvation. God chose to perfect us through a lengthy process. We will continue to grow until He thinks we’re ready, then He will take us from this world to inherit all that He has promised.
So the next time you start getting frustrated with your spiritual walk, remember Paul’s words: “And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Like the great artist who takes decades to complete one single painting, you too, are God’s work in progress. God is molding, shaping, and chipping away all the sin in a day-by-day process. We aren’t there yet, but if we keep striving, we will be! Just something to think about.