“He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus (Phil 1:6).”
Someone posted this verse on Facebook this morning, which sent my mind traveling down an “i am” road, which I didn’t expect. Here’s what Paul is trying to say in so many words, “I am: not perfect!” Nope. I am not perfect! I am far from perfect. I am in process of becoming, but I am not perfect. The process is called sanctification.
I love this truth! Love it! Just saying it over and over (as I just did) is quite liberating. The statement takes a lot of self-inflicted pressure off. I’m a perfectionist by nature. I confuse my perfectionism with God’s expectations of me. He doesn’t plan on me being perfect this side of heaven...it won’t be until the day of Christ Jesus! What God does ask for is for me to “work heartily (meaning as from the soul)“ in Colossians 3:23. He doesn’t want me to work heartily with the motivation of pleasing men – that gives man too much power and control. He does want it to be “as unto him.” I’m the one who wants perfect. I want instant complete (another word for perfect). I want instant maturity. Why? Of course, I want the pats on the back, the atta-girl, the well-done.
According to what I do know, all of those words are reserved for the Lord to speak over me when the race is won. Of course, there are those cheering us on, but that’s another story. One day, the One I’ve been reconciled to by the blood of Jesus will give the coveted, “Well done, good and faithful servant.” All he asks of me on this earthly journey is faithfulness.
· Suffer as a good soldier
· Work with consistency as a farmer
· Train as an athlete
· Prepare and be ready as a bride waiting for her groom
· Surrender as a living sacrifice
· Remain weak so he can be strong
I want perfect. I’m the one disappointed and frustrated if I’m not. I judge. I grade. I lecture. It’s been this way since I was a kid. I loved the feeling of accomplishment when I completed a goal.
But the older I have gotten, the more pressure I have felt under the weight of perfect. So God has reminded me, “You are not perfect...yet. Don’t expect to be.” In fact, he pleads, “Stay weak!! It is in your weakness I am made strong. When others see me doing what you cannot do in. and of, yourself, they will look past you, and see me!”
Simply put, his message is this: “Remain weak...please...for heaven’s sake!!”
There is GREAT RELIEF in this truth. Sigh.