Press On to Maturity
Have you ever lived in a house during a remodel? What if the remodel never ended?
We lived in our first house for over a decade, and nearly every month of that period some project was underway, right up until the time we sold it. We often had concrete floors and sheet rock with visible drywall screws. We couldn’t use our bathroom while we reworked our shower. Then it was time to move, so we rushed to finish all our projects. It was finally our perfect house. We lived in it for a few days, and then we moved.
"And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ" (Php 1:6).
Like our house, you — and everyone around you — will always be under construction, right up until it's time to leave your "earthly house" (2 Cor. 5:1-10) when God completes the work he started in you.
This construction project is a collaboration, but not an equal one (Phil. 2:12-13). It requires our efforts, but only his grace will bring this work to completion. I sometimes try to use make-shift solutions of my own making, "fixing" myself with the duct tape of self-help rather than using God's grade A building materials for a proper repair. I tape up my ego rather than humbling myself before God. I distract rather than reflect. I numb rather than heal. I find a workaround to keep me going the same old way rather than turning to his way, the Way. But when I decide to hear, understand, and turn, he heals me (Matt. 13:15). Doing what Jesus says is the foundation of a well-built life (Matt. 7:24).
Pardon Our Dust
Have you ever gone to the supermarket while they remodeled? It's a hassle looking for your favorite cereal behind pallets of building materials, so they usually have signs like, "Pardon Our Dust While We Renovate." We need that same patience with others … and ourselves! We all need compassion (Col. 2:12-14). Your elders, preacher, parents, and heroes — whoever they are — are all currently under construction, even if you can’t see their “Pardon Our Dust” sign. Perhaps they're "not yet" what they ought to be (1 Cor. 3:2; 8:2), but "not yet" implies that someday, by grace, they could be. Don’t forget that you're a "Work In Progress" too.
The time to get concerned is when we aren’t under construction. If the project gets abandoned and the work stops, we need to "stir one another" to get back to it (Heb. 10:24). May we all appreciate the daily perseverance required to live in imperfect houses, slowly but steadily renovating into the perfect image of Christ (2 Cor. 3:18).