"Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven" (Matt.5:3, AV).
On a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate the condition of your spiritual life? Even though we may desire to please the Lord, our efforts are so inadequate, our motives often selfish, our faithfulness questionable. No matter how much we do, we fall far short.
Perhaps these thoughts will encourage you: First, remember how God sees us. Because of Christ's work on the cross, we are completely forgiven and perfect in His sight, so long as we accept that work, repent when we fail, and keep on trying.
Perhaps you see yourself as a meager "1". That shouldn't be necessary, though. We can still please God if our attitude is right. He knows we're not capable of perfect performance, but He does expect the right attitude of heart. Jesus didn't say: "Blessed are those who achieve their potential and never make a mistake." He said: "Blessed are the poor in spirit,..those who mourn,...the meek." You may have just made a mess of your life, and there may be painful consequences to pay, but we can still please the Lord if we repent and humbly confess our sin.
So long as we do this then we are always in Christ and, as far as He is concerned, we are always a "perfect 10". And that should motivate us whenever we get discouraged over our slow spiritual growth. That does not mean, of course, that we should abandon the quest for individual perfection which comes through the power of sanctification. But it does mean, as Peter said, that "love covers over a multitude of sins" (1 Pet.4:8, NIV).
Therefore let this be your call: cover with your love the sins of your brother just as Christ with His love covers yours. Treat your brother as a "10", even if he doesn't deserve it, because that's how Christ treats you when you don't deserve it. And if we all did this, then we would all be able to sing with Wesley:
No condemnation now I dread;
I am my Lord's and He is mine!
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed in righteousness divine.
On God's grading scale, we are all rated ZERO without the Perfect One.
This page was created on 22 May 1998
Last updated on 22 May 1998
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