No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us. - (Philippians 3:13–14)
Some people say they don’t want to go to church because the church is full of hypocrites. They will identify any Christian who falls short as a hypocrite. If you do or say anything that doesn’t measure up to your faith as a follower of Jesus, then you are immediately branded that way.
But just because you believe something and don’t always live up to it doesn’t mean you are a hypocrite. In fact, that doesn’t mean you are a hypocrite at all. What it does mean is that you are a human being. No one measures up all the time to the very high standards of God. We all fall short of the glory of God—again and again. We are imperfect people serving a perfect God.
Even the great apostle Paul admitted this struggle: “I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate. But if I know that what I am doing is wrong, this shows that I agree that the law is good. So I am not the one doing wrong; it is sin living in me that does it” (Romans 7:15–17).
That wasn’t Paul’s everyday experience, but it was a candid admission. Nor should it be used as a justification to say we always will be struggling in this manner and therefore shouldn’t even try. Paul also wrote, “I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me” (Philippians 3:12).
The further you go in the Christian life, the further you will realize you need to go. That is the mark of a genuine, growing Christian.
Summary sentence: The mark of a maturing Christian is to want to press on in growing!
Tags: Hypocrites, church
Copyright © 2012 by Harvest Ministries. All rights reserved.
Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996, 2004. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.
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