12 Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.
13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead,
14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. - Philippians 3:12-14
I love the transparency in these verses. Although Paul has been a believer for a couple of decades by the time he wrote this, you can still hear the struggle in his words. He’s still not perfect, but he continues to try. He doesn’t give up the fight despite the fact that he continues to fail, but he keeps his eyes fixed on the goal.
The Christian life isn’t easy. We are going to do battle every day, so we need these pep talks of encouragement to keep our eyes focused on our purpose. Sometimes we are going to stumble off the path with our own sin, and sometimes others who aren’t on the path or have fallen off the path are going to throw rocks at us.
Living the Christian life well is a life-long battle. As a younger believer, you may look at more mature Christians and think they have “arrived”, that they are somehow closer to perfection, but you would be wrong. They still struggle with the flesh every moment of every day just like you do.
One of our struggles with this broken world is that we look at other people and think they shouldn’t struggle. We expect perfection - especially if it’s an area that we don’t struggle in. We judge and we condemn, and we keep both them and ourselves trapped in the past. Leave it and press on. Move toward the goal of the upward call of Jesus Christ.
I’ve been a believer for a long time, and my God continues to chasten me every day. He continues to reveal to me my shortcomings, places where I need to grow more loving and more compassionate, and blind spots where I hide sin. While I am on this earth, I am constantly being transformed. As I begin to change, it would be easy to get stuck in the past, but that would only hold up the transformation. I leave it where it belongs by being thankful that He continues to pursue me and love me despite my deep brokenness.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
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