There are many days when I feel as though I am not good enough. I don’t work enough, I don’t study enough, I don’t pray enough. I know that I am not alone in feeling this way. Most of us strive to meet ideal standards set by ourselves and others, then beat ourselves up when we fall short. Often, when I am angry at myself for failing, I feel like God is angry with me too. After all, Christians are supposed to be like Christ, who was and is perfect. Or at least that’s what I thought. I have spent far too much of my time trapped under a bar that was set too high for me to reach. It says in Matthew 5:48, ‘Be perfect, therefore, as your Heavenly Father is perfect.’ Hebrews 10:14 also says, ‘For by one sacrifice He has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.’
I used to hear about how Christians are supposed to be perfect if they truly know Christ. I used to dwell on my sins and feel like my faith wasn’t strong enough, that I wasn’t a ‘true’ Christian. And now I am realizing that God does not want me or anyone else to live this way. Christ died to free us from guilt and shame, not pile on more as we struggle to attain His perfection. When the Bible says that Christ makes us perfect, it does not mean that we become so the moment we accept Him, at least not on our own merit. God makes us perfect because by accepting Christ, we allow Him to work in us and change us into who He wants us to be. Evidence for this is given in Philippians 1:6, “I am sure of this, that He who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Jesus Christ.”
We as Christians are works in progress. Christ makes us perfect, not because we are perfect, but because He makes up for what we lack. When I am weak, He is strong. When I am doubtful, He is certain. When I fail, He has already succeeded. God makes up for our failings and we trust that one day, He will bring us to where and who He wants us to be.
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