2 Peter 1:5-8 says, “Make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
Notice the phrases I have highlighted. They indicate that the Christian life is not about perfection, it’s about progress…it’s about adding day by day to the faith you start out with. It’s about developing godly qualities in increasing measure. It’s about growing a little stronger every day.
I have always been very competitive when it comes to sports. When I was in high school my mom and dad confiscated my golf clubs and kept them for a month. The reason is because one day my brother and I got home from playing golf and my dad said, “Did you guys have a good time?” My brother said, “No.” My dad said, “Why?” My brother pointed at me and said, “Because he throws a tantrum every time he hits a bad shot. Today, he threw his club about fifty yards when he hit a ball into the water.” My dad looked at me and said, “Is that true?” I sheepishly said yes, and that was the last I saw of my golf clubs for a month.
The point of that disciplinary action was to encourage me to add some self-control to my faith. It worked. I haven’t thrown a tantrum in decades.
Never use perfection as a measuring stick. If you do, you’ll always feel like a failure. Instead, think in terms of progress. What qualities are you adding in increasing measure?
By the way, do you know what the snail said as he was riding on the back of the turtle?
To us a turtle seems pretty slow, but to a snail, a turtle seems pretty fast. The point is, speed is relative. Don’t worry about speed. Just be sure you’re making progress.
For further reflection read Colossians 2:7 and James 1:3-4.