If I may continue …
with the theme from yesterday …
and clear one thing up before continuing …
I still hate perfectionism.
And perhaps I look at this whole practicing and perfecting thing like this:
I want to finish well—to go to my grave content—even if that day is tomorrow—realizing that contentedness will come as a result of abiding in Christ. So, that is my quest, goal, desire and purpose – to abide in Christ well.
It’s life long – requires practice – diligence and a host of things such as those found in 2 Peter 1: first faith, then goodness, knowledge, self control, perseverance, godliness, brotherly kindness and love.
Can I just tell you how hard it is to add those qualities to your faith without the divine power of Jesus? More like impossible – for me anyway. But here’s the payoff: participation in the divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). Quite the payoff, eh?
In the words of Bruce Demarest – “Grace we must learn is opposed to earning not effort.”
Now that may seem natural to the rest of the world – but this is the stuff I seem to be learning more of in the past decade than in the previous four decades. And still I am trying to get a handle on it. It is indeed the tension I live in every day – living AND growing in grace. Much of this tension goes against my natural tendencies – those tendencies that I love to blame on Adam – yes, I said Adam, not Eve (see 1 Corinthians 15:22 to agree with me and Paul).
I close in the words of one of my favorite theologians, Michael Card, give up on your pondering and fall down on your knees. See the tension!? Oh the humanity!