Every once in a while, I have to remind myself of the title of my blog and just come out with some confessions. The reality is that I’m confessing every day. Whether it’s confessing about my inadequacies and faults or confessing Christ and what God has done in me or even confessing my own struggles, there always seems to be some amount of confession going on here.
If you read this with any frequency, you can tell by now that I’m not perfect. I fail my friends. I fail my family. I fail my exams. I sometimes fail. I am not perfect, and you know what? I kind of see that as a good thing.
Too often, pastors come across as the opposite of that. I’ve met some winners during my 40 years of life. Pastors who come across as if they were God’s gift to their churches and even beyond that, to the world. Pastors who think that the process of sanctification was completed the moment that they accepted Christ. Pastors who are so entrenched in the disguise of who they wish they were or who they think others want them to be that they can’t drop the mask and get out.
I don’t want to be one of those guys. So, you might end up seeing more of me, warts and all, because I think it’s important in the journey of life.
I don’t know about you, but there is nothing more frustrating to me than seeing someone pretend that they’ve got it all together, even to the point of convincing themselves that they really do have it all together. Ironically, it flies in the face of who we are in Christ as well. The whole reason that we need a Savior is because we don’t have it all together, we are not sufficient in and of ourselves. We are fallen and broken people who might skate along for a while on our own abilities, but will eventually fall.
I shared Romans 8:1-2 in yesterday’s post and the verses apply for this as well. We are insufficient and yet become sufficient through and in Christ. If we think that we’ve got it together, it can very quickly decline into a self-sufficiency that is impossible for us to achieve apart from Christ. Yet, some of us try to convince ourselves that we don’t need him.
I have a friend who was really honest in the beginning of our friendship when he said that there would be a day when he would disappoint me or betray me. I appreciated the honesty, especially because I know that when that day comes, he will be willing to admit it. When we think we are sufficient in and of ourselves, we have a harder time coming clean when we screw up.
But here’s the thing, we are not defined by those times when we screw up. We are not defined by our inadequacies, yet so much of what’s around us tries to tell us that we are. We can’t buy into that lie.
I would consider myself a fairly intelligent person. I’ve achieved multiple degrees of higher learning. I’ve passed the professional engineering exam for licensure. Yet, I can still fail exams. That doesn’t define who I am, it just means that I am not perfect. If my failures define me, than I have not put enough into the belief that Christ is sufficient for me.
Perfection is something that comes at the end of the process of sanctification. I am not there, nor do I expect to be next week, next month, or next year. But, like Paul wrote, I press towards the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. I run the race. I fight the fight. I stumble, but I get back up again. I will continue to pursue perfection knowing that the journey is the process by which I am shaped and formed. I am not perfect, but I’ll get a little closer every day. In the meantime, just be patient, I’m sure I’ll have to forgive you in the future for being imperfect too.