Imperfect: characterized by defects or weakness; not perfect; lacking completeness
As you can see from the image on this blog post, the object is definitely imperfect. The photo posted is of an actual piece of “art” that I made in class when I was very young. I don’t know this for sure but if I were asked to guess what is the most popular clay object made in art class at that time, I would say it would be something like an ashtray. We have all seen the “art” that some young kids make. We even say how wonderful the objects are especially when they are ashtrays and you don’t smoke nor is there any need for one. Well, I didn’t make an ashtray – I made something else. Even now I’m not sure what it was, although I must have made some attempt at making a cookie jar.
When we first ask Christ into our lives, we are all just like that lump of clay that I started with back in art class. We are not fully formed yet. Only the Creator, the Potter, initially has the vision of what He is creating. When the object of the Potter is first created it looks like a crude form of what the final result should be (kind of like my cookie jar). This is just the beginning when He starts to impart vision upon His creation. You can imagine what Heaven would look like if God, stopped there and didn’t finish His work. It might look something like my “art” project in the posted image since I was only a child at the time and I didn’t complete it to perfection.
Phillipians 1:6 says,
“…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 is where God does a much better job than we ever will in our own strength. Heaven will be perfect because He will complete His perfect work in us, but we aren’t there yet – are we?
I hear excuses all the time about why people won’t go to church. They say “the church is full of hypocrites.” They say that someone at the church hurt them too badly. They say, “I don’t have to go to church as long as I have a relationship with Christ.” I’m sure all of those statements may have some truth in them, but just maybe those people who are saying those things or just maybe those who hurt them were just baby Christians or only partially formed clay.
Why do so many of us expect perfection from ourselves and others while we are still in the process of sanctification? As long as we are striving for His perfect will in our lives there will be room for His mercy and grace when we fail. We are all imperfect clay objects constantly being formed by the Potter, our Creator. Of course, this is not an excuse for bad behavior. It should just be an acknowledgement that Christ has more work to do in all of us.
So what about those people who wronged us? God says you must first do your part to make things right with them before He will receive your gift.
Matthew 5:24 says,
“…leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.”
Now, I know what you are thinking. “What if they won’t reconcile with me?” We can’t control the behavior of others, but we can control what we do. If we are called to reconcile, then do your part to reconcile. Even if it doesn’t work out how you planned that doesn’t mean that God isn’t in the process of completing his perfect work within you. I have heard of so many marriages that begin the deadly cycle of unforgiveness. This typically starts when they refuse to do their part and they focus on trying to change their spouse. It can mean death to a relationship if it goes unchecked and they refuse to allow God to mold and shape them as He wishes.
Many times we should use those difficult moments in life to extend grace to those who may have hurt us, maybe even disciple a “younger or baby” brother or sister in Christ. How many times do we just want to cast out that imperfect “clay” from our presence? What if God treated us that way…just tossed us aside without completing the job? The good news is that He will finish His work. Now the question to you will be, will you be willing to submit to the changes He wants to make within you so that He can mold you according to His perfect image and purpose?
Scriptures for Meditation
“…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.” Philippians 1:6
“…leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.” Matthew 5:24