Less Than | Discipleship Prayer Day 22

When I am less than loving, less than peaceful, and less than truthful.

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do… For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.

― Romans 7:15,18-20

If you are like me, Paul’s words ring true more often than we would like.

We want to be loving towards others…but we sometimes are not.

We want our presence to be peaceful…but that is not always the case.

We want our words to be true…but that just isn’t the case as much as we would like.

We often find ourselves being “less than.”

And we don’t like it.

Anybody with me on this?

She thought about this. She considered how much of herself – and the way she’d lived so long – had been tied up with a single unfulfilled desire. She finally said, “This is not who I want to be.”
― Elizabeth George

Scripture tells us that humanity was created in the image of God. I like how Erwin McManus writes it — “to be expressions of the goodness and wholeness of God.”

I would add that this image, this goodness, and this wholeness is displayed for us clearly, consistently, and concretely in the person of Jesus Christ. He is the perfect image of God (1 Cor 1:15) in whom we see clearly “ the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being” (Heb 1:3a).

Jesus.

Not Abraham, Moses, or David.

Not Peter, Paul, or Mary.

No pastor, missionary, or church leader.

No writer, musician, or celebrity.

Past, present, or future.

No one else.

Only Jesus.

We are all hypocrites in transition. I am not who I want to be, but I am on the journey there, and thankfully I am not whom I used to be.
― Erwin McManus

It is easy to get frustrated in those moments when we realize we are still “less than” what we wish to be; when the things we so dislike in others we also see in ourselves. Thankfully, we who seek to follow Christ are on a journey. It’s a journey of grace… and forgiveness… and learning to forgive… and becoming more grace-filled.

It’s all about becoming more like Christ. We will never find absolute perfection in this life, and we’ll never become perfect performers as long as we are in this world broken by sin. But we do have in our pocket a great promise:

If anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! This new creation is being transformed into the image of Christ with ever-increasing glory.

― 2 Corinthians 3:18b and 5:17

“Less than” is not the end plan, because God is able to do “more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us (Eph 3:20b).

All for God’s glory and honor.


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