God does not call us to a life of perfection. He desires us to have a willing heart. It’s not about perfection, it’s about progress. When you are tempted to give up because you have tried and fallen short of the goal or the expectations of yourself or others, take a moment to take a deep breath, assess the situation, course-correct the situation and your thoughts and attitude about the situation, and try again. Remember, it’s not about perfection…it’s about progress.
Part of what perpetuates our penchant to hide behind a mask, is our inclination to compare ourselves to others. By comparing ourselves to others, we hold ourselves up to the image that they desire for others to see…the public mask they put on display. So we compare ourselves to others who were not given the same personalities, gifts, and talents as we so we will always fall short if we try to measure ourselves against others as our standard. Yet we must align ourselves instead with what we know to be true. The Bible says that we each are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14).
Lasting growth, transformation is usually a process. It takes time. Like moving a mountain, one small stone at a time. It’s hard to appreciate the change while it’s happening. It is only after the work is finished, when we are able to look back, that we can appreciate the journey and the lessons learned along the way.
I want to be more intentional about living in the moment, practicing gratitude, appreciating how God has uniquely made me, and resting in Him. With an open mind and open heart, I prayerfully embrace all that God has for me in this next year. Will I stumble? I’m sure I will. And when I do, I will give myself grace. Even Paul acknowledged that he was not perfect nor had he fully arrived spiritually, but he continued to run the race, and I will too. The reward is the honor of being called by God. I can’t think of anything better.
True confession time, I’ve never been a big fan of New Years’ resolutions. As 2013 comes to a close, and you look toward 2014, don’t look at resolutions as something requiring perfection, but rather, an opportunity to pursue personal progress with God’s strength.