Philippians 2:5 says, “In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:…” Hmmm…be like Jesus? That is a tall order to say the least! But the Bible is clear about Christlikeness being God’s calling on our lives.
We can’t possibly act like, speak like, think like, love like, or look like Jesus…in our strength. However, when we ask God for the grace and love that it takes to be like Jesus, He helps us with that endeavor. For instance, He gives us wisdom to not say the first thing that comes to our mind when we are angry, and He provides productive words instead. He grants us patience when we are in a rush, and someone who needs a listening ear crosses our path. He pours His mercy into our lives so that we can extend it to others, especially when we don’t feel like it. In other words, God faithfully leads us to make decisions that bring us closer to the goal of Christlikeness.
As we mature, we will presumably heed His voice more and more. But we are human, so there will also be days when we fail. Miserably. God made a wonderful promise in Philippians 1:6: “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.” This verse puts no conditions on Him fulfilling His purpose for us. Nothing that says we must be sin-free for a certain number of days before He completes His work within each one of us. Lamentations 3:22-23 assures us: “The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Praise God that our sin does not have enough power to stop His plan for our lives!
On our journey toward Christlikeness, there will be failures. But those failures don’t mean we should give up. When we go to God in repentance, He lovingly offers second chances and generously grants new mercies.
It’s okay to start over. God is there with us.