I used to believe, and sometimes still do, despite all evidence to the contrary, that when I declared my commitment to Christ, I would immediately be godly, holy, good, righteous. I would be Christ-like, as soon as my words of confession, of profession, left my mouth. And, unfairly, I expected (and sometimes expect) others who say they are followers of Christ to be Christ-like in all that they do, now. This is not how it works, as it turns out.
In Christ, we "are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit." (Eph.2:22) "To become," according to the trustworthy dictionary.com, means "to grow to be." Becoming Christ-like is a life-long construction project. As Peter said: "rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good." (1 Peter 2:1-3) Don't you ever just pray, though, or wish, that you could just be, now, not become? Patience is not my best attribute, so I do. I pray that I could be like Christ today. At times, I act in ways that are Christ-like, and I think, I've made it! I'm there. I have become, no more building, I am built. Then, I do or say something, and I think I've never been further from being like Christ. I am a broken building, my pieces in a pile on the ground.
Peter describes sinful desires as being at war against our souls. (1 Peter 2:11) I know what he means. My soul, at times, feels like it exists in two seemingly equal, opposing parts:
Wearing God’s armor;
Dressing in lust and lies;
Abstaining from sinful desire;
Yielding effortlessly to this world;
Repaying insult with insult;
Rejoicing in suffering;
Drowning in self;
Abiding in grace;
Wallowing in recrimination;
Living in peace beyond understanding;
Fearing tomorrow’s trouble;
Believing in the impossible;
Knowing I am incapable of anything.
Thankfully, "we are being built." We have a builder. I am so grateful for and astonished by my builder, He has a tough job. Please give me grace as I am being built, as I am becoming.