Archive | July, 2012

Progress vs. Perfection

12 Jul

Progress: “Movement, as toward a goal; advance. Development or growth. Steady improvement.” (thefreedictionary.com)

 

Perfection: No explanation necessary.

 

I awakened this morning with a very “Debbie Downer” mentality. I was weary of seeing my commitments to do or not do something fly out the door after two days, two weeks, two months, … (You get the picture.) I was overwhelmed because my “performance” wasn’t perfect. 

 

Then my husband, without knowing what was going on with me, complimented me on one of my “commitments.” As I started to protest, he said, “At least you’re making progress.” Immediately I was reminded of wise words Rocky and I had heard many years ago from a very godly teacher: “Be encouraged by progress rather than perfection.” I so needed to hear it again.  The encouragement of progress was Ephesians 4:29 to the emotional wreck happening inside me.

 

My discouragement was based in a dependence on self-effort and not reliance on the Holy Spirit to empower me in the process of change. I was forgetting that just as a child learning to walk will step, then fall, he/she gets back up and continues to learn how to walk. As a favorite teacher of mine once said, “They keep doing this until their practice is walking and not falling.” It’s the same in the Christian life. The danger of falling is always there, but getting back up and, through the power of the Holy Spirit, walking by faith is of utmost importance. Remembering this teaching encouraged me again, in a very Ephesians 4:29 kind of way! 

 

My dad used to sign off on phone calls with “Hit it hard!” That was his version of Paul’s conviction in Philippians 3:12 to “press on” or Hosea’s challenge to “press on to the know the Lord” (Hosea 6:3). Even now his Ephesians 4:29 words call me to keep moving toward the goal, to keep developing, steadily growing in my walk with Christ…to be encouraged by progress!

 

Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth,

but only such a word as is good for edification

according to the need of the moment,

so that it will give grace to those who hear.

Ephesians 4:29 (NAS)

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