As I pondered the fruit of our labor in regards to investing in the lives of teen moms and dads I realized we were expecting too much from them. We expected them to give their lives to Christ and to start living perfect lives that looked like ours. My life didn’t look like it does today when I was 18, in fact it looked nothing like it.
I was reading in Matthew today and I came accross the verse, “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.” 5:48 Well we all know that we can’t be perfect while living here on this earth because we are sinners and accepting Christ doesn’t change that fact. What I beleive Jesus is saying here is that we need to strive to be perfect and to be more like Christ in every aspect of our lives. My notes in my bible refer to the following areas: In character, In holiness, In maturity, and In love. In character we can strive to be as much like Christ as possible. That should be the standard we set for ourselves. In holiness we should be devoted to God’s desires rather than our own. In love we should seek to love others as God loves us. But the note that really impacted me today is the In maturity. We can’t and don’t achieve Christlike character and holy living all at once, rather it something that we grow toward. They used the analogy that we expect different behavior from a baby, a child, a teenager and an adult so God expects different behavior from us, depending on our stage of spiritual development.
This isn’t an excuse to sin. We can’t say, “Well, I’m not to that level of maturity yet to resist this sin”, but we do need to show grace to those who are new to the faith just like our Father showed grace to us. It is easy to forget where we came from.
Praise God that one day we will attain perfection.
Notes from the Life Application Study Bible NIV by Zondervan