Obedience versus Perfection

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Peace copyRecently, someone asked me to explain what gives me joy–a question that could go many directions. I answered with the first word that came to mind, obedience in Christ.

I knew it sounded cliché and pious but that’s where my heart finds peace. Perhaps not as often as I would like, but it’s a place of comfort and joy.

As the discussion continued the group candidly shared their struggle with rebellion making obedience an uncomfortable topic. I realized that obedience had become synonymous with perfection. These beautiful Christians were carrying the shame of periodic disobedience and viewing obedience as something abstract rather than a way of life. But their humility and mourning for their spiritual lack revealed a heart after God. Isn’t that obedience?

King David was one who struggled with obedience, so let’s read how God regarded him:

…‘I have found David son of Jesse a man after my own heart; he will do everything I want him to do.’ (New International Version, Acts 13:22).

The Apostle Paul said it best in Philippians 3:12:

Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me (NIV).

We will never attain perfection but we can obediently press on. As we follow God’s path, we may hit the guardrails and sometimes take a detour, but by His grace, our goal will not waver.

Your willingness to pursue God is a beautiful act of obedience.

Have a blessed weekend.

Marisa Shadrick

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 The Holy Bible : New International Version. electronic ed. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1996,


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