I feel better when things aren’t messy. However, to be honest, the trunk of my car is usually the messiest place in my life. I don’t see it often, so I often just throw things in there. I’ve been recently trying to clean it, but there’s a lot, so I’ve done a little at a time. Each day a do a little and probably within a week I’ll have a clean trunk. I’m just trying to not do too much at a given time. It’s lazy, but it’s also alright by me.
We often let our lives get messy. We’re often not proud of some things we’re doing. Things need to be cleaned up, so people often look for solutions in things like religion, spirituality, or more natural avenues like trying hard to do better. Sometimes, people think this is what religion is primarily is meant for. For them, religion is meant to make good people. However, this isn’t what Christianity is about.
The main concern of Jesus isn’t for His followers to be perfect. Jesus isn’t looking to create “good” people, He’s looking to create God-dependent people. Moral perfection isn’t the priority, since we could do good things for bad reasons. Sure, moral perfection will ultimately be the result of Christ’s work in our lives (Eph. 2:10), but it’s the result of His work, not the root.
The main concern of Jesus is faith (Acts 16:31). That shouldn’t be surprising, since from the book of Genesis to Revelations, faith is what Jesus is looking for. Moral perfection isn’t God’s priority, its faith or being God-dependent.
“And without faith it is impossible to please [God], for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him” – Hebrews 11:6
The last thing I want to say is how faith works out in regard to our behavior. I hope you’re not reading this so far and thinking I’m saying that faith in Christ has no effect on our behavior. God would strike me down as a heretic. Faith does obviously affect our behavior, kinda like me cleaning up my trunk.
Some people think Christianity is about being perfect, or, to connect back to my opening story, having the trunk of your car completely clean. If it isn’t clean, then God isn’t in your life, they believe. They think our lives should be seemingly perfect, but that’s not possible or even what Jesus is focused on. Instead, Christianity is about progression, not perfection.
We aren’t expected to be perfect and we won’t ever be perfect in this life. Let’s all breathe a sigh of relief. Perfection occurs in heaven, but we’re not there yet. That Taco Bell Crunchwrap might be divine, but you’re eating it in the parking lot.
It’s okay to struggle with overcoming sin in our life. As long as you’re here on earth, the struggle will be alive. As long as there’s truly a struggle, that means we’re fighting sin and that’s what it’s all about. The struggle is the progression Jesus is looking for.
I’m not perfect, or even close. If you stare long enough in my life, you’ll see some Jesus, but you’ll also see some sin (2 Cor. 12:9). I’m sure you can relate, too. We love Jesus, but we struggle with sin and sometimes it’s not always a struggle, if we were to be honest. We sometimes just give in to sin without a fight. However, Jesus isn’t surprised by this about us.
Christianity is about progression, not perfection.
You life might sometimes look like a messy car trunk, but Jesus is there helping us clean things out and it might just take the rest of our life on earth. And that’s okay. Don’t place the burden on yourself to be perfect, since that is something you won’t be able to do. And that shouldn’t be your focus anyways. Your focus should be on working with Jesus each day to become more like Him and share His Gospel with the world.
Don’t boast in your ability to do good deeds sometimes, but boast in that you’re known and loved by Jesus. That’s what truly matters. Don’t ever forget that.