Imperfect examples - Hope 103.2

Imperfect examples

By David ReayThursday 11 Sep 2014LifeWords DevotionalsCultureReading Time: 0 minutes


Read Philippians 3:12-17

12 I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. 13 No,dear brothers and sisters,I have not achieved it,but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God,through Christ Jesus,is calling us.

15 Let all who are spiritually mature agree on these things. If you disagree on some point,I believe God will make it plain to you. 16 But we must hold on to the progress we have already made.

17 Dear brothers and sisters,pattern your lives after mine,and learn from those who follow our example. (NLT)

We sometimes think that our own imperfect lives can’t possibly be any sort of witness to those around us. We might believe that if we can only reach a certain level of maturity then we can be worthwhile advertisements for Christianity. We would be wrong.

Paul reminds us that he is not perfect,he has not ‘arrived’. And yet he still urges his readers to follow his example. It seems we can be positive models of discipleship even if we have our failings. In fact,we are all on the way,our life in Christ is a journey and the finishing line is far away in the distance.

We are to be models of growth,not perfection. We are to be examples of godly intent not complete maturity. We are those in the process of becoming who we are meant to be,not those who are the finished product.

And this is no bad thing. We dare not come across as those who claim moral superiority,or who have all the answers,or who are marketers of a spiritual quick fix. The world is rightly suspicious of such people. When we witness to our own weakness we are better able to point people to Jesus.

Our witness to the world is not only to be bold in proclaiming the authority and love of Jesus. It is to be humble in telling the world that his followers haven’t reached his standard yet.

David Reay

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