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Perserverance, Not Perfection

January 16, 2024

We persist, even when we fail, to know Jesus more. Knowing Jesus is the prize.
The new year often begins with so much potential. Resolutions are made. Goals are set. Hopes for success are high. 

But, did you know that more than half of New Year’s resolutions are not kept past the end of January? Studies show that once a person has failed even once in their commitment toward a goal, they often give up because perfection is no longer possible. 

How true this can be in our faith as well! 

The Christian walk is a difficult one. When describing the life of the Christian, Jesus even says, “the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few,” (Matthew 7:14). Perseverance, despite failure, is essential for keeping the faith.

In his letter to the church in Philippi, the apostle Paul writes of the prize awaiting those who endure in their faith: “...that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and may share His sufferings, becoming like Him in His death,” (Philippians 3:10). 

We persist, even when we fail, to know Jesus more. Knowing Jesus is the prize.

Paul continues, “Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me His own. Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus,” (Philippians 3:12-14). 

In Greek, the words “press on” mean to pursue, to chase earnestly. Not perfectly. Earnestly. Or in other words: to pursue with intentionality. 

What spiritual goals did you intentionally set this year? Perhaps this was to spend time with the Lord in the mornings before engaging with your phone, or to find moments of solitude each day, or to write down things you are grateful for rather than letting your mind dwell on negative thoughts. Whatever your commitment might be, it will require endurance to accomplish. 

Paul finishes his encouragement by saying, “Let those of us who are mature think this way,” (Philippians 3:15a). As leaders in the church, we are given a holy opportunity to model progress, not perfection, for those whom we shepherd. 

So, may we persevere in the faith, encouraging one another to do the same, not for the sake of perfection, but for the sake of the One who is worthy and worth all of our effort.