I could only reply with a weak whimper, “I did.”
“No! I mean, how could you? Well, I understand how you could, but I mean you’re a Christian!” my friend stammered.
With a red face I admitted I had made a mistake. “Christians are not perfect,” I said.
Christians are not perfect. We have the same anxieties, illnesses and political struggles as non-Christians. Our children face the same temptations that other children do. Christians are people; we are not super humans. We struggle with the same everyday conflicts and health concerns. We make mistakes.
Somehow, some time ago, I assumed Christians were perfect. And to be a Christian, I assumed that you first had to be this perfect person, and then you submit to God. I have since learned that it is the other way around. You first submit, and then you aim for perfection. And perhaps perfection is even too strong a word. It should be process.
Our lives are a journey that start in infancy where we learn to hold our heads up, then to crawl, then to walk with the help of furniture. Finally, we can walk on our own. But it does not stop there. We then must learn to run, to jump, and to skip. Then we add in new challenges such as riding a bike or learning to alpine ski, skate or water ski. It seems that we are continuously learning new, more exciting ways to move our bodies.
The journey of a Christian is a similar process. We all start out as infants. I, myself, am just learning to hold my head high and I am both excited and scared about what the future holds for me. I do know, however, that just as a parent will run beside a child mastering the art of riding a two-wheel bicycle, so too, will God be with us on our journey. When we fall and scrape our knees, He will be there to make it all better. He will forgive us and hold our hand as we try again and again to master the bike.When we feel that we can ride without training wheels, and we have put many miles on our bike, we can still grow in our Christian character with new challenges. It is a process. It is a journey.