In my study for my Oasis (high school ministry) lesson plan this week, I read something that really stuck with me. I was studying Matthew 5:48 where Jesus says that we are to be perfect as our heavenly Father is perfect. That’s a pretty weighty expectation. Each of us falls far short of perfection. Yet, we know that perfection is the standard. So how do we live in that place? How do we acknowledge the goal and our failure to meet it without growing weary?
In the NIV Application Commentary on Matthew, Michael J Wilkins shares some helpful thoughts on this. We need to have a proper understanding of our standing before God. Titus 3:4-7 tells us that we’ve been declared righteous before God because of Christ’s finished work on the cross. Yet, there’s a gap between how God views us in Christ and our experience here on earth. II Corinthians 3:18 tells us that God is at work to make us more like Jesus. Wilkins combines these ideas in what he calls “restful dissatisfaction”.
I rest content with what Christ has done in my life and with the growth that has occurred, yet at the same time I balance that contentment with the desire to move on. At any one point in my life I want to be satisfied with what God has been doing in my life, yet I want to be dissatisfied to the degree that I press on to complete maturity.
I hope that you find this concept helpful.