“Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” Phil. 3:12-14
While the dawn of a new year prompts us to think about things we should or desire to do, the passing of the old also reminds us of what we have done–or, as the case may be, haven’t done. In other words, not only do we think about the challenges ahead, we also are reminded of our past failures– thus the resolutions. I guess you could say that is good and bad news. Most of us don’t like to be reminded of our short-comings. Yet the hope of improvement depends on exactly that. There must be a willingness to take a good long hard look at ourselves.
If we break our arm patting ourselves on the back and refuse to acknowledge that we’ve failed the possibility of progress comes to a screeching halt. When we deceive ourselves into believing all is well, when it isn’t, growth stops. Seeing ourselves as we really are might not be pleasurable, but it is profitable.
A. W. Tozer wrote, “Some Christians hope in a vague kind of way that time will help them to grow better. They look to the passing of the years to mellow them and make them more Christlike. This is such a tender and pathetic thought that one hesitates to expose its essential error. But we had better know the facts now while we can do something about them rather than go on moist-eyed and dreamily hopeful–and wholly wrong. A crooked tree does not straighten with age; neither does a crooked Christian.”
Paul was a wise man. He didn’t pretend to be something he wasn’t. He was honest enough to admit that he had not arrived and humble enough to acknowledge his need to advance. Wherever you are in your spiritual life there is still room for growth. Until that glorious day when we stand in the presence of the Lord in the likeness of the Lord we will have a need to grow. But before it can happen we must admit it needs to happen. Press on my friend! —HDS
Lakeway Baptist Church
5801 FM 1960 E
Humble, TX. 77346