Works in Progress

Do you know that you are a work in progress?  And you always will be until Jesus comes or you go home?  Philippians 3:12 states, “Not that I have already obtained this or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me.”

None of us have already obtained what God desires of us.  We are not yet perfect and never will be on this side of eternity.  While that may feel a depressing thought, there is great hope to be found in those words.   

When Jesus takes hold of us, we are daily becoming new.  Daily becoming more like him.  When Jesus takes hold, He does the work of pushing, prodding, molding, and forming us.  Jesus takes hold and all He asks is that we have a heart open to change.

In the eating disorder realm, many people speak of being “recovered.”  I have never much liked this term and this verse points out a bit why the word "recovered" bothers me a bit.

Becoming more like Jesus is an ongoing action.  Daily, we must choose to set aside our flesh and live for the things that Jesus takes hold of us.  These are choices that we must make minute by minute, day by day, for the rest of our lives. 

Recovered is a finite word.  It sounds as though someone is saying, “I have arrived.”  I have obtained this status of recovery and I have been made perfect.  But here Paul says, “No, I have not obtained this or have been made perfect.” 

Recovering is a verb requiring that recovery is ongoing, changing, and continually being made new.

The reality is that whatever our flesh once manifested in our lives (eating disorder, drugs, alcohol, etc), is an area of weakness in our lives.  This area needs to be guarded very carefully because we can return to it in an instant, no matter how long we have been Christians.  

Our flesh may fail at any time.  But the good news of Jesus Christ is that he is actively working minute by minute, day by day, for the rest of our lives to make us new as we submit our flesh to him.  He isn’t so much concerned about the moments our flesh may fail as he is our turning towards him after the fact.  Whether we fail more times than succeed at defeating ED, there is a God who longs to make us new and invites us to join Him in the process of making us more and more like Him.

So take joy in knowing that you have not yet arrived in being recovered.  Adopt a new philosophy that you are recovering, daily being made into the image of Jesus.

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One Response to Works in Progress

  1. Jackie says:

    Jen, I love your wisdom.  You helped me to think about those terms in a new way.

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