“Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6 NIV)
We humans are great starters but often bad finishers. We leave unfinished symphonies, unfinished buildings, unfinished books, unfinished projects. We may not always finish what we start, but God always finishes what he starts.
God doesn’t create a bird and give him half a wing. He didn't create an unfinished flower or an unfinished star. He puts the finishing touches on everything he does, and then he says, “It is good.”
The Bible says when Jesus Christ starts working in your life, he will complete what he started, in spite of the hang-ups, faults, bad decisions, sins, and circumstances that we face. One day, when we get to Heaven, we’re going to become just like Jesus, because we will see him as he is. And that’s the goal.
In the meantime, if we want to enjoy the people in our lives, we need to be patient with their progress. We must allow for their growth and development. Paul could say, “I’m not the man I used to be, thank God. But also, thank God, I’m not the man I’m going to be. I’m growing and changing.”
If you want to enjoy your marriage, you’ve got to learn to enjoy your husband or your wife right now while allowing for growth and development. Otherwise, by the time they meet your conditions, you will have still another condition for them to meet.
Parents, if you’re going to learn to enjoy your kids, you’ve got to learn to enjoy them in the process while they’re growing, because there is no such thing as a perfect kid.
And there’s no such thing as a perfect adult. If you demand perfection of the people in your life in order to enjoy them, you’re going to be miserable for the rest of your life. Nobody’s perfect.
Talk About It
- To whom do you need to show grace today, understanding that God is still working in his or her life, in his own time and his own way?
- Knowing Christ will finish what he started in you, what role do you think he wants you to play in your progress? What steps do you need to take toward spiritual growth?
Rick Warren is the founding pastor of Saddleback Church in Lake Forest, Calif., one of America's largest and most influential churches. Rick is author of the New York Times bestseller "The Purpose Driven Life." His book, "The Purpose Driven Church," was named one of the 100 Christian books that changed the 20th century. He is also the founder of Pastors.com, a global Internet community for pastors.
This devotional © 2013 by Rick Warren. All rights reserved. Used by permission.