Chapter one has one of my favorite promises. It’s a promise I rely on when I’m not happy with my progress as a believer. I’ve told you before that I sometimes have a problem with anger or forgiveness. No, don’t worry. I don’t get violently angry or anything like that, but I sometimes do have a short fuse. I’m getting better about it, and I think that’s proof of the promise we read in verse six of chapter one. Here it is: I am sure of this, that He who started a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.
In other words, it’s a confirmation of the bumper sticker you might have seen: Be patient. God isn’t finished with me yet.
A few verses later, starting at verse nine, Paul continued the thought: And I pray this: that your love will keep on growing in knowledge and every kind of discernment, so that you can approve the things that are superior and can be pure and blameless in the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ to the glory and praise of God.
Very few people, when they first become believers, have a radical change in their personalities. It does happen, but it’s not the rule. Most of us change over time, as the Holy Spirit works within us to conform us to who God wants us to be. It’s a lifelong process for most of us, I think.
So don’t get discouraged when you fall short of how Scripture tells us we should be. Understand that the disappointment you have in yourself is a good thing. It means that you are sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s correcting you. Use that to help you change the decisions you make in the future. It’s a process I’ve been in the midst of for fifty years. Wow. I just realized that I’ve been a Christian for 50 years! Yeah. I’m feeling old. :)
I’m so glad God hasn’t given up on me, and that He is constantly chipping away the rough edges.