A devotional to remind you that we are works in progress, growing towards completion in Christ.
As you get started today, take two minutes to simply be still. Let the stress and hurry and noise of life fade into the background as your spirit comes alive.
Breathe in, breathe out, breathe in again. Focus on exchanging stress for peace, shame for confidence, fear for courage.
When you are finished, whisper to yourself, I am loved. I am holy. I am complete. I am enough.
READ – What Perfect Really Means
Is there anything in your life that has to be perfect, or else you start to go a little crazy? Maybe you can’t stand clutter around the house. Or everything on your desk needs to be exactly in its place before you can concentrate. Or you try on seventeen different clothing combinations every morning until your outfit is a flawless work of art.
We are all perfectionists in at least a few areas. And in other areas . . . not so much. You can probably think of some things you don’t care that much about so you don’t try too hard to perfect them.
That’s normal. The problem is when the things you don’t care about are precisely the things your roommate or spouse obsesses over. Or vice versa. At that point, either someone has to change or sparks will fly. Perfection and chaos can’t coexist, right?
Just look at God, then look at us. God is perfect. In every way, not just a few. We are far from perfect. And yet He doesn’t roll His eyes at us while dropping passive-aggressive, semi-snarky comments about the dishes we left in the sink, metaphorically speaking.
You see, we tend to think of perfection as just being free from sin, error, or weakness. The issue is that we’re works in progress. We make mistakes. We suffer lack. We struggle with weakness.
So if “perfect” means never messing up, we might as well give up now. We’re set for failure.
In the Bible, though, the term perfect refers to the idea of becoming complete. It alludes to maturity, wholeness, or fullness. We often see this term used to encourage growth in a variety of areas.
For example, on one occasion, Jesus was teaching about loving everyone, even our enemies. He instructed his listeners to share his wide, expansive, unconditional love with all people, including their enemies. Then He pointed to how God “causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous” (Matthew 5:45). A few verses later He concluded with this summary: “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect” (v. 48).
Do you see the connection in this passage between becoming better at love and becoming more perfect? When Jesus said “be perfect,” He wasn’t commanding us to meet an impossible moral standard of some obsessive, perfectionistic deity. Rather, He was challenging us to become as complete in our love as God is in His. If we want to be like Him, we need to have a diverse, wide, inclusive, open-armed love, even for those who don’t like us or who go out of their way to oppose us.
But love is just one of God’s qualities. He is complete in every sense. He is perfectly wise, strong, good, true, faithful, kind, pure, and generous. He lacks nothing and has everything. As children of God who are made in His image, we are called to become complete or whole, to grow in holiness.
In a spiritual sense, we are already complete. That’s an important truth to keep in mind, particularly when the process of personal growth is slower than we’d like. In Christ, we are children of God: loved, approved, and accepted by him. Jesus is our advocate, so we have nothing to fear and nothing to prove.
But our journey toward perfection is a work in progress. That’s obvious, right? We all have room to grow. Not because we are trying to avoid disappointing a perfectionistic God, but because we believe we can be as complete and whole as He created us to be. Perfection is a process to embrace, not a goal to reach.
The good news is God is committed to that growth process. In fact, it was His idea. That’s why Paul wrote, “He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phillippians 1:6).
What areas are you lacking in today?
Where would you like to grow?
What part of your inner or outer world needs to be made whole?
Today, as you pray, express those things to God, and let His perfection encourage you toward growth.
For further thought, read James 1:2–4 and 2 Peter 1:5–8.
- Is it hard to believe that you are already enough in God’s eyes? Why or why not?
- In what areas would you like to grow and become more complete?
- What is the “good work” that God began in you (Phillippians 1:6)? What are some specific ways He might “carry it on to completion”?
During your devotional time, use this space to creatively express what the concept of growing and becoming whole means to you. For example, you might jot down your thoughts about God’s perfection, draw something that illustrates how you feel on this journey, or write a poem about who you are becoming.
Excerpt from I Am Transformed:40 Days To Unleash The Power Of Your God-Given Identity, written by Sons & Daughters, October 4, 2022, Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, used by permission.
Sons & Daughters
Sons & Daughters is a collective of young adults, Arden Bevere, Christian Bevere and Juli Bevere, helping this generation discover the adventure, freedom, and purpose found in our creator. We are God’s Saints—called to do the work of the ministry in every sphere of life. And that starts by cultivating relationships, leading in our community, and developing the Sons and Daughters around us.