I am not perfect by any means. I screw up daily. But, I do my best to make the right decisions, do the right things, treat people the way I want to be treated and more. I live by a set of principles. Principles like integrity, kindness and love. I strive to always do the right thing even when no one is looking. I strive to show kindness to everyone I meet. I strive to show love to ever person who enters my life. Notice that I said I “strive” to do those things. I didn’t say I “DO” those things. Why? Because I mess up.
Sometimes I am quick to anger. Sometimes people make it hard to be kind to them and I react in ways I shouldn’t. Sometimes I take my frustrations of the day out on my wife when she is certainly not deserving of that. I sometimes try to hide little quirks about myself despite trying to be as transparent as possible. But that is OK. Because I know that I am always growing. I am always striving to do those things better. I do my best to be in tune with the world around me and how I act so that I can recognize mistakes that are made, or an area of my life that I need to work on. I try to recognize areas for growth. And every time I identify one of those things, the best solution is to turn to Jesus and trust in HIM to change my heart and help me grow.
On Wednesday, I referenced 1 Peter in my post. That triggered an interest in me to read 2 Peter. So that is what I did this morning. It was exactly what I needed to read, as usual. God always knows what I need. In reading 2 Peter I further realized that I don’t need to beat myself up over the mistakes I make or my character flaws because I am always growing in my faith. Even when I am not trying that hard, my faith helps me grow. Here is part of what Peter said in his letter to the churches:
2 Peter 1:3-9
3 His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to[a] his own glory and excellence,[b] 4 by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. 5 For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue,[c] and virtue with knowledge, 6 and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, 7 and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. 8 For if these qualities[d] are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 For whoever lacks these qualities is so nearsighted that he is blind, having forgotten that he was cleansed from his former sins.
The divine power that is referenced here is God’s infinite power to accomplish salvation. This is something that only HE could do. Through the promises of God I am able to partake in this divine power. Though I never become a part of God, I share in HIS nature as we become INCREASINGLY like HIM. Increasingly!!! Meaning each day, I continue to grow. Each day I become more. Each day I become better because of my faith in Christ!
I was given new life the day I started to believe. What does that mean? Well, when I was born I knew nothing of this world. I didn’t know how to walk. I didn’t know how to talk. I didn’t know how to eat. I didn’t know much of anything. But I learned and I grew each day. I learned to do those things. It is the same for my NEW LIFE! I didn’t know a thing when I started to believe. I didn’t know the depths of HIS love. I didn’t know what HE had really made me capable of. But over time I have learned more and more about HIM and myself. I can do more than I was ever able to in the beginning. And tomorrow I will be able to do more that I can today.
I was blessed to have people in my life who did not expect ALL of these things when I first started my NEW LIFE. They knew I needed to grow. They knew I would always grow. They knew that they were still growing. But I have seen too many people stop their growth because others expect them to “flip a switch” immediately.
So, if you know someone like that then let them know that there is someone that wants to grow with them. And let them know that, most importantly, they will always be growing in their faith and character because of HIM! Because of HIS love. Don’t let that important aspect of our NEW LIVES be forgotten. Always grow and always supplement your faith. But ALWAYS know that others are doing the same and they need that encouragement from those like me. Those that have been growing for a while now. People like me who know that I am not perfect and never will be. Those that realize the truth in the fact that, though perfection will never be achieved on this earth, we are currently in the process of being perfected each day.
I pray that each of you, and myself, continue to embrace our perfect imperfection. I pray that we would embrace others who are growing and that we can allow GOD to use us to help those growing and those that need to realize they were promised that NEW LIFE. That we too will continue our growth in HIM so that we may share HIS true love with everyone in our path.