“Not that I have already obtained all this,
or have already arrived at my goal,
but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.”
Philippians 3:12 (NIV)
“Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when Christ appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.” 1 John 3:2 (NIV)
One of the factors in broken relationships is that people have expectations for their family member that are unrealistic. For example if one person is a “neat freak”, they may impose on others the need to be as tidy and organized as they are. They expect others around them to be just as concerned about order and tidiness as they are.
This is putting an expectation on the person that may be impossible for the individual to attain. Certainly having a life that is orderly with everything in its right place is desirable. Those of us who are not as careful about being tidy do need to work at improving.
It is the same in the spiritual realm as well. We need to have perfection as our goal in life. However, we must recognize that in this life we will not attain the perfection we see in Jesus. So our expectation should be to see improvement and closer conformity to the perfection of our Saviour.
Paul acknowledges that he has not “arrived” at his goal in life. Even such a remarkable person as the apostle Paul recognized that he did not have it all together at the time he wrote Philippians.
Our verse from 1 John tells us that a time will come when we shall reach the goal of being just like Jesus, and that will only occur when we see Him.
So, make perfection your goal but realize that all you can expect in this life is improvement and development in godliness. Have a holy restlessness with what you have already attained and strive to be more Christlike tomorrow than you were today.
Do not be disappointed that you have not reached the goal and instead, be encouraged as you recognize changes in your life that the Lord has made. Expect to grow in grace and the knowledge of the Lord. Keep the ultimate goal in mind and press on toward it with all of your strength.