Growing Pains

Did you know that in God’s eyes you are perfect? Scripture is very clear about this fact. Re-read the opening passage from the book of Hebrews. However, your perfection has nothing to do with you! Jesus is the “he” in the verse and “those” would be you and me as Christians. Perfection is the result of salvation, paid in full by Jesus on the cross. Holiness, on the other hand, is a process requiring time and experience.

Christian songwriter, Colton Dixon, in his song Through All Of It, conveys the message that life is a journey.

I have won and I have lost. I got it right sometimes and sometimes I did not.

Life’s been a journey, I’ve seen joy I’ve seen regret.

But You have been my God through all of it.

His words resonate deeply with me and perhaps they do with you as well. Each night, when I lay my head down on the pillow, my mind replays a script of the days events. The thoughts that follow conjure up for me a spectrum of emotions from joy to regret. My words and actions may not always have aligned with my professed love for Jesus and others. Sometimes, though, I was able to make a positive impact, even when I wasn’t aware of it in the moment.

As Christians, we are “being made holy.” We are a work in progress! So, how can we be perfect if we’re still “being made holy?” Perfection is our status with God, compliments of Jesus. We didn’t do anything to earn it; we don’t deserve it; it is a gift pure and simple. This is what Jesus meant when He said, “It is finished!” Within the context of this Bible passage, salvation and perfection are synonymous. “Being made holy,” however, is a process. In his letter to the church in Philippi Paul put it another way; “continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.” Philippians 2:12-13, NIV. Please note that Paul doesn’t say work for your salvation, he says “work out your salvation.”

Although my explanation will be an over-simplification in an attempt to express the deeper meaning behind this passage of Scripture, try to think of it this way; an acorn has within itself all of the properties necessary to become an oak tree. An acorn doesn’t look like an oak tree but once planted in the ground it will grow into one. You and I may not resemble perfection as defined by Webster’s Dictionary, but God sees us with a capital “P” Perfection through Christ Jesus. “God…calls things that are not as though they were.” Romans 4:17, NIV.

With Him, we have all of the necessary elements to become holy. The process of becoming holy is called, sanctification. It will be complete when we take our final breath on earth and experience our “first breath” in heaven.