Two weeks ago, I discussed my first topic on the “Growing in Grace” series – The Command.
In this second post, I want to briefly discuss The Need to grow in grace.
I like to look at this need from two different angles: Our Recognition of the need and God’s Desire for the need.
However, today I want to focus on Our Recognition of the Need to Grow in Grace.
In order for a person to grow in grace he must come to realize that he is lacking in an area and therefore, needs growth.
One of the areas I struggle with is the area of spiritual perfectionism. Feelings of inadequacy in comparison to God’s demands would often cloud my mind. In fact, sometimes I wonder if I am “measuring up”. I want everything to be done right before His sight. Am I doing what he wants me to do? Am I being a good spouse to my husband? Am I being a good mommy to my children? Am I pleasing him by watching a TV show and not reading my bible in that slot of time? Am I spending too much time blogging when I should be doing laundry or looking after my kids? Am I, Am I, Am I……? On and on the list could go.
Do you ever struggle with thoughts like those mentioned above? Rather than convincing ourselves that everything has to be done right for God to approve of us, we need to remember that God knows we are human. Yes, He has sent His Son, Jesus, to wash away our sins. Yes, He forgives those who ask for His forgiveness. Yes, He desires for us to be “perfect”. But he also knows that we have a limit. In reality, we cannot “be” like God – He alone is Omniscient (all powerful); He alone is Omnipresent (always present); He alone is Omnipotent (all knowing); He alone is Immutable (never changing); He alone is always Faithful, Merciful, Good, etc).
So what does that “perfection” looks like for us? It is a matter of growing and becoming more and more like Christ daily. There are a bunch of verses that express God’s desire for us to be “perfect” (more like Him). Here are a few verses that expresses that principle:
King James Version (KJV)
1 Peter 1:16 – “Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy”.
Colossians 1:28 – “Whom we preach, warning every man, and teaching every man in all wisdom; that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus”.
Philippians 3:12 – “Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus”.
We are already made “perfect” by what Christ did for us on the cross. But we are to strive to please Him in our ways. There is a verse that says, “Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God” (1 Corinthians 10:31). When we fail, God awaits with loving, opened arms to forgive us. This does not mean that we are to fail willfully, but when we do, we are guaranteed His forgiveness if we ask Him. 1 John 1:9 says, “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”.
So if you struggle with perfectionism whether it is spiritual or some other outward type of perfectionism, remember that we are already “perfect” through what Christ did on the cross. Remember the Pharisees? (Their stories are found in the Gospels). The gospel of Matthew is a great book to learn about them. It seems like no other group of people could not have been more “perfect” in there own ways. They held unto tradition, and self-righteousness was their names! But God condemned them because He is not concerned with outward righteousness. God looks on the heart. Let’s trust Him to help us grow and understand what His perfection means for us.
In what areas do you need to grow? I would love to hear of them. Let’s help each other[icon icon=icon-smile size=14px color=#000 ]