When I took up tennis last year, I announced that my goal was to be as good as Roger Federer. As a 31-year-old working mum who could barely squeeze in an hour a week on the court, my ambition brought much ridicule. It was clearly a foolish aim that I could never even dream of achieving.
But have you ever thought about the challenge we Christians are given in Matthew 5:48? “Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”
At the end of the day, none of us will achieve perfection on this earth.
Within our fallen world, each and every one of us will continue to sin no matter how hard we try not to.
I may practice with all my might to become as good a tennis player as Roger Federer, but I’m never going to get there.
Just as I try with all my might to be like Christ, it’s just not going to happen.
So should I set my sights a little lower, perhaps?
I could just aim to become a world-ranked player in my tennis career, and aim only to be as good a Christian as my home-group leader at church.
But God doesn’t want second best for us. He wants us all to have that perfect relationship with Him, which is why He covers our shortcomings with grace.
By grace we can be made perfect in His sight.
Does this mean we should put our feet up and leave the rest to God? Of course not.
As I devote more time to my tennis, I enjoy playing it more and learning more about myself in the process. And as we pursue that perfect relationship with Christ, we find ourselves falling more in love with Him, learning more about His perfect will for our lives, and aligning our behavior to His.
And where the task seems too great for us to complete on our own, we can rest in His grace. With Christ it is made perfect.
“But you are to be perfect, even as your Father in heaven is perfect.” —Matthew 5:48
Prayer: Father God, thank you for your gift of grace. Keep us close to you as we strive to become more Christlike in our daily lives.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kate Sharma works as the Communications Manager for Compassion UK.
Read all the One in Spirit devotionals.