“God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son.” (Romans 8:29)
Just where do we get the idea that Christ-followers need to be perfect? That everything we do, say and think has to be perfect all the time? We are “being conformed to the image of Christ,” and that takes time. We haven’t arrived yet. I have been a believer in Christ for nearly 49 years, and I still can’t get it right most of the time. I’m not perfect!
Because I don’t always do the right thing, I find myself in good company with some well-known bible characters. Abraham, the father of Israel, tried to pass off his wife as his sister, not once but twice, in order to save his own neck. Don’t think we would have voted him husband of the year. Moses murdered an Egyptian, then ran and hid in the desert for 40 years. Not the kind of leader we would have thought should be trusted with God’s law. King David committed adultery then murder in an attempt to cover up his sin. Surely not the sort of man we would have gone to the polls and voted to be king of Israel. And how about that John the Baptist? Now there was a strange character. A grown man running around in the wilderness, wearing camel’s hair and eating insects! Would any of us really have listened to what he had to say? And I can’t leave out one of my favorite bible characters – Peter. Seems Peter spent most of his time with his size 12 sandal stuck in his mouth. Surely not the man any of us would have selected to be a leader in the early church.
There seems to be a definite pattern that reveals to us that God chooses some strange and imperfect characters to be his children, servants, and friends. People who don’t have it all together. People who haven’t arrived. People who mess up, goof up, louse up, and screw up. People it would be very easy for us to look at and wonder if they even know God.
I’m not talking about people who intentionally do evil. I’m talking about common sinners saved by God’s grace who are in the process of being purged and molded by God into the image of his Son, Jesus Christ. And that, my friends, is all of us. We might not do everything right. Things may come out of our mouths that we regret. We may do some foolish things. We might text, tweet, and post on Facebook some things that leave others scratching their heads. But our heart belongs to Christ and we are moving forward in him, be it however slowly. We are who the writer of Hebrews wrote, “for by a single offering he (Jesus Christ) has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.” (Hebrews 10:14).
Let’s be patient with one another. God isn’t finished with any of us yet!