Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Walking With the Lord: Christians aren't so perfect

Several weeks ago this topic came up at our church and I have to say that it's a point that I have found that I must remind myself of from time to time. Why? Well, first I should say, of course I know that Christan's aren't perfect, we are human after all, but I have a tendency to hold up born-again-Christians to a higher standard than others and when that standard is not met, it can be disappointing and discouraging. It seems like they should know better. At one point in my life I left Christianity all together, not because I no longer believed in God, but because I had lost all faith in the hypocritical Christians that I kept encountering. This is by no means to say that I was some fabulous believer, hardly so, but we don't always look at ourselves first. It far easier to judge another person's actions before my own or at least it was.

The reality is Christians are just people, like everyone else. They are plagued with the same temptations, the same difficult circumstances and same desires as everyone else. Walking with the Lord is a journey. A person does not stop, hand their life over to Christ and suddenly become a whole new person, without temptation, fully enlightened, filled with understanding of God's role in their life. In the beginning people can and do make major transformations in their life, but when life settles sinful natures rear their heads and everyone at some point, most likely on a daily basis, struggles with living a life for the Lord.

Becoming a born-again-believer is very similar to a young child learning to walk. First they learn to sit-up, then stand-up, they crawl, they take precarious first steps holding on to nearby objects and finally they take a couple tentative steps. Even then, though, the learning does not stop. They have to figure out their new found ability to walk. How far can they walk, what can they walk on, how to run, to to climb and so on, each one doing it at their own pace and in their own way.

Walking with the Lord is much the same way. Each of us comes from different circumstance, different influences, different challenges. We assess life in different ways and what may challenge us, may not challenge another person. God, being the perfect Father that He is, knows how to encourage and strengthen each of us in the areas we most need, but He also knows when to not "hold our hand' and let us navigate life on our own. Christians may all share the same name as followers of Christ, but we are not all in the same place with our walk with the Lord. Of course, there are also certainly many, many people who claim to be Christians, but are only Christ followers in name alone.

Being a Christian is not about perfection. We make mistakes and a lot of them. We sin, we hurt one another, we say the wrong thing, do the wrong thing. We are no different in this area than anyone else. Where the difference comes is that we can also learn from our mistakes and our errors and use them to teach us how to strengthen our relationship with God. We can go to the Lord and seek His forgiveness and prayerfully seek His help. Hopefully the same sins won't continue to occur, but I know for myself that certain sins in my life do, over and over and over. It doesn't mean I'm not trying to learn how to overcome these areas of sins, it just means I haven't triumphed over them YET.

Perfection in man does not exist in this world. No where! The only person to ever embody perfection was Jesus and it should be our goal to strive to be more like Him. What a blessing it is that we have a perfect role model to turn to and examine as we look at our own lives. When a Christian has wronged us in some way or does something we don't agree with, we have the freedom to choose our reaction or how we allow it to affect us. We can stand in judgement, be angry, turn our backs to them, etc. However, is that what Jesus would have done? Didn't He come beside those who needed His Truth the most and encouraged them and strengthen them to follow Him and His Father in Heaven?
Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? 
Matthew 7:3 (NAS)
The reality is, we often have no idea where another is coming from, what influenced them to do or believe or say something. Maybe the sin area that has been witnessed is an area that the person greatly struggles with and is still learning to overcome or maybe they are in a place in their walk with the Lord where they haven't recognized that what they've done is a sin. One of the, if not the most important parts of being a Christian is growth. We must be seeking the Lord and truly trying our best, some days going better than others, to be a believer that our Father in Heaven can look down on and be proud of. No matter where we are at in are walk and no matter what the path looks like for us, what ties each of us together is following God's Word. We must be reading the Bible, we must be in prayer with God and seeking His guidance to strengthen us, to give us wisdom, understanding and knowledge. If we don't do that, then we begin to make-up Christianity as we go along and fitting it into our life so we can keep doing what we like, a sort of justification process, versus being transformed and allowing God to mold our lives and fitting our lives into His will.

Watching our attitude and responses towards others as they work through their own difficulties and learning how to encourage them will not only help the other person, but help ourselves too.

Walking with the Lord series by Artistta: 
My anxious and fearful thoughts.
"For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it."
My meandering thoughts for this Monday morning.
His blessings this week.
Faith and trust in Him with our decisions.
A glimpse at the perfection of our Father.
Having the right response towards others.
Reading God's Word the Holy Bible.
Taking time to pray.
My testimony. 
The child/father relationship with our Lord and how we confuse it.


  1. I did too. I found that it was "too difficult" to keep from sinning and I honestly disliked that people thought I should be sugar sweet all the time with no issues. My issues had and still do have issues and yes I am grumpy, sullen and downright angry at times. However, It took a very hurtful situation to make me realize that I did not want to be without God and would strive to find a way to become a better Christian daily. Do I stumble? I downright fall flat on my face, pride trips me up daily. Just today I spent a couple minutes just talking about past accomplishments to impress a co-worker with some embellishments. Nice one John.

    We try and find examples of other living humans to follow and have some great examples of them in our church; but we should not look to them, we should be looking at Christ. Yes we can glean wisdom from their knowledge of some of today's worldly outlets but didn't Jesus suffer the same things? There is nothing new under the sun is my favorite saying for this. He experienced all the things we do but we just have more access to them in my opinion.

    Each day is a new chance to do it right. Some might say "try to do it right"; I say in "Do or do not, there is no try". I believe the message was, doing anything with the mind that you will probably fail defeats the action that you are trying to complete.

  2. Nicely said John, thanks for sharing.

  3. Right on! I've struggled with the expectation of perfection as well, but it's something I put more on myself than anything. I've struggled on and off with depression my whole life, and used to think that I was doing something wrong as a believer. Thankfully, God really spoke some truth into my heart about that! Just because we know Christ doesn't mean that we won't suffer, in fact sometimes we struggle all the more. I've found that being open and honest about my life with my non-Christian friends is a much more effective way of sharing my faith. =)

  4. I'm so with you Mikalah and will in one of my posts write on the very topic of self perfection or self judgement. I too have struggled there greatly and it has often left me completely secluding myself from people when I don't feel that I can meet their or my own expectations. It has caused a great deal of depression, but then I have to remind myself that the Lord does not condemn and those thoughts that I have aren't from Him. I have also found the same to to be true about sharing with non Christians, just be true to who you are whether at home, in public and no matter who you are around.


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