To be honestly imperfect
One thing that really rubs me up the wrong way is when people are so in love with their own way of believing that I start feeling inferior about my way of believing. Many people appear as if they possess all spiritual knowledge. It’s just that the others need to get there too.
This is so wrong, because what they don’t realize is that the road of sanctification, the road of getting to know Jesus intimately, the road of simply believing, actually never ends. It remains a process with no due date. Even the great Paul acknowledged this out loud: 12I’m not saying that I have this all together, that I have it made. Today Paul would probably have said: Did not complete it. Do not have the T-Shirt, yet.
I again come to realize that we should never think that we are the only people who know what the truth is. We ourselves have not even arrived yet. We are still in the process of learning all God’s truths and those of his Word. We come to new insights every day; new truths are made known to us, and we come to understand one more piece of our mysterious God. We are still on the way.
And that is indeed why we should give others space. We may differ from one another. But we can live together as God’s family, irrespective of those differences.
It doesn’t matter how holy a holy life is, we’re all still part of a sinful world. All of us are still broken, damaged. We will still trip and fall, some more than others.
13 Friends, don’t get me wrong: By no means do I count myself an expert in all of this … Broken, part of a sinful world, damaged, trip-and-fall people like you and me.
We must realize that we’re actually not as perfect as we sometimes like to think. If you think that you are perfect or almost perfect, you’re going to fall far and hard, because that is where the devil will trip you up. He never leaves you alone.
I was chatting to a retired pastor. Eyes wide he said he can’t believe how the devil never stops with his tricks. Not that the devil comes to him with stories of robbing a bank or becoming a crook or some other big sin, because he knows he will never succeed, the pastor said.
No, the devil focuses on the soft spots. The other day (at his age) he met a young woman who had everything in the right places and who made him feel good and who wanted to spend some more time with him and, and, and … and it is right here where he realized he is far from perfect, seeing how broken he is. He is still such a long way from the finish line and realized how imperfect he still is as a child of God.
We’re all still on our way. We all need to learn more and more. We all have to watch out that we do not become spiritually arrogant, thinking we are better than others. None of us have arrived yet. The finish line is still on the other side of our lives.
Instead of looking down on others, let’s take one another by the hand and try to keep each other upright. Let’s acknowledge our own brokenness, our damaged spiritual lives, that imperfectness and say together with Paul: 13… But I’ve got my eye on the goal …
Do you sometimes think that you know more of the truth than others?
Do you realize that you haven’t reached the finish line yet?
Where is your piece of brokenness?
Lord, once again we realize how imperfect we are. Show us when we become spiritually arrogant. Please forgive us when we sometimes think we are better than others or that we know more of the truth than others. Please help us reach out to those who believe differently from us, to help us see our own brokenness. Amen