being-and-becoming-disciples

being+becomingDISCIPLES – Apr. 4, 2018

being-and-becoming-disciples

Who Says You’re Not Perfect?

“Who says? Who says you’re not perfect?” sings the auto-tuned chanteuse. (When I Googled the lyric, it suggested “who says you’re not perfect?”) Oh, the irony.

Self-empowerment is all the rage at the moment. Our young people are growing up in a moment in time in which any suggestion that there might still be room for growth or improvement in someone’s life is called “________ shaming” or some equally vitriolic term. Taylor Swift will label you a hater. No one (at least no one who agrees with all this in principle) can be told they are less than what they are meant to be. “I make no apologies, this is me.”

Now, before Taylor swoops in over my house and you stop reading and send me an angry email, please know that I am all for the understanding that we live in a world that desperately needs to learn how to embrace and care for one another. There’s some clear call on our lives to love our neighbor as ourselves. When we fail to do so, our witness suffers.

Here is the issue for us to consider, church. These sentiments of our popular culture are hollow. Maybe catchy, often glamorous, but without substance. You see, if we can be convinced we are already perfect, then there is little chance of anyone being humble enough to see themselves as they are before God: sinful, often bitter and broken, without the presence of the Holy Spirit to make us new. The voices which pose as self-empowering speak (and sing and dance) lies with a grain of truth, and we are tempted to buy what they are selling. Their product is not only short-sighted, but ultimately harmful.

Who says you’re not perfect? God says you’re not perfect. God says that you are loved and accepted, but that you are a work in progress; being renewed and transformed and re-created back into the image of Christ day by day. We need not be fooled into thinking we have arrived, but rather encouraged to understand that the God who made us can already see us as we will be, and calls on us to spur each other on as we grow in Christ. As the Apostle Paul said to the church in Philippi,

     “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose. Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky as you hold firmly to the word of life.”

                                                                                                                                            Philippians 2:12-16 NIV
So, no you and I are not perfect (just yet). We are still people in need of a Savior. We can let go of all the weight of trying to convince ourselves that we’ve already arrived. Don’t forget though, that we are already loved perfectly and God who is perfect is working in us. In the coming weeks, in a teaching series called being+becomingDISCIPLES, we will dig into the Word and consider how we work out our salvation to enable the Spirit’s work of making us pure and blameless. As we do, be encouraged. God won’t stop recreating until His image is one day perfectly restored in us.