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
Holding on to the words in the verse verse - Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect - should impact how we see other people. If we are to shift our perspective of this Christian walk to be one where we are always pressing forward, leaving our mistakes in the past, then we must show the same consideration to others. If we are recognizing that we are still a work in progress, that we are not perfect in our walk, that we make mistakes and say or do things that hurt other people, then we must color our perspective of other people with the same light. We must show the same grace to others on this walk with us - whether they are believers or not believers, those difficult people in our lives or those people who have caused us deep hurts, are the result of the broken world we live in just as we are.
If we remember that this Christian walk is a lifelong battle, we can bear the fact that others walking along this same path are in battle, too. When they seem to be struggling with the same sins for decades, we can show grace because He continues to chasten and refine our deep sin issues, constantly showing us grace and mercy. We need to be patient with others as He is patient with us. He never looks at us and tells us we’ve been struggling too long with the same sin, He never throws His hands up because we’re struggling with a sin issue that He’s never struggles with, He’s never said that one sin is too great to forgive.
No, He tells us to press on. To keep fighting the fight and pushing forward toward perfection. We may not always see or know the battle that others are working through in their minds, we may not know how God is getting a hold of their heart, or how He is chastening and refining them, but what we are told is that we are to leave what’s in the past behind us. That means for others, too.
God is sovereign over those difficult people or those people who have hurt us. His plan is to refine them as He has refined us. His desire is that all should come to know His love. Your lack of forgiveness or your lack of graciousness and patience may be the very thing standing in the way of their ability to get back on the righteous path. Step out of the way, and allow them to receive the forgiveness of Jesus Christ by showing them what it looks like.
Press on ~ you are loved 💗
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