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The expression "nobody's perfect" is used or heard almost every day, but it's true—I'm not perfect, you're not perfect, nobody's perfect. Hopefully, though, we're all getting better and are on our way to perfection. The important thing to remember is that even though we're not yet perfect, we're still OK. Just because we haven't arrived yet doesn't mean that we're not on our way.
It's true that we all still have a long way to go. I used to get discouraged about how far I had to go, and it seemed like I was reminded of it every day, sometimes every hour. I carried a constant sense of failure—a feeling that I just wasn't who I needed to be, I wasn't doing good enough, and I needed to try harder. Yet when I did try harder, I only failed again.
I've now adopted a new attitude: "I'm not where I need to be, but thank God I'm not where I used to be. I'm OK, and I'm on my way!" I now know with all my heart that God isn't angry with me just because I haven't arrived yet. He's pleased that I'm pressing on and staying on the path. If you and I will just "keep on keeping on," God will be pleased with our progress.
Keep walking the walk one step at a time. This is an important thing to remember. It's true that we have to keep pressing on, but thank God we don't have to hate or reject ourselves while we're trying to get to our destination.
If I invited you to take a walk, you'd think I was crazy if I became angry after the first few steps because we hadn't yet arrived at our destination. We can understand ordinary things like this, yet we have a difficult time understanding that God expects it to take some time for us to grow spiritually.
We don't think there's something wrong with one-year-old children because they can't walk perfectly. They fall down frequently, but we pick them up, love them, bandage them if necessary, and keep working with them. Surely our heavenly Father can do even more for us than we do for our children.
The process is always difficult. Growing and learning is never easy, but the changes make us better people. We begin to think differently, then to talk differently, and finally, to act differently. This process develops in stages, and we must always remember that while it's taking place, we can have the attitude, "I'm OK, and I'm on my way!"
Enjoy yourself while you're changing. Enjoy where you are on the way to where you're going. Enjoy the journey! Don't waste all of your "now time" trying to rush into the future. Remember, tomorrow will have troubles of its own (Matthew 6:34).
Today you may be wrestling with a bad temper, thinking if you could just get freedom in this area, everything would be all right. But the thing is, God will then reveal something else that needs to be dealt with, and you'll be back in that same frame of mind again, thinking, "If only I didn't have this problem, I could be happy." We must learn to look at these things in a new way.
We can be free to believe that we are, indeed, OK and on our way—not perfected yet, but pressing on. We can be free to enjoy life, enjoy God and enjoy ourselves.