It’s a trap to imagine that God wants to make us perfect examples of what he can do. God isn’t producing specimens of holiness to put in his museum. His purpose is to make us one with him: “That they may be one as we are one” (John 17:22).

If becoming a model of personal holiness is your goal, your life won’t be devoted to God. Instead, it will be devoted to achieving whatever you see as the evidence of God in your life, whether it be perfect success or perfect discipline or perfect health. “But it can’t be God’s will for me to get sick,” you protest. It was God’s will to bruise his own Son; why shouldn’t he bruise you? What matters to God isn’t your consistency to an idea of what makes a perfect Christian. What matters is your real, vital relationship with Jesus Christ and your abandonment to him, whether you are sick or well.

Christian perfection is not, and never can be, human perfection. Christian perfection is the perfection of a relationship to God, a relationship that shows itself in all the irrelevancies of human life. When you obey the call of Jesus Christ, the first thing that strikes you is the seeming irrelevancy of the things he asks you to do. The next is the fact that some people appear to be leading perfectly consistent lives. Such lives might give you the idea that God is unnecessary, that all we need to reach the standard he wants is human effort and devotion. In a fallen world, this can never be true.

I am called to live in perfect relation to God so that my life will produce a longing for God in other lives, not so that others will admire me. Thoughts about myself will always hinder my usefulness to God. God isn’t perfecting me in order to put me on display; he’s getting me to the place where he can use me. I must let him have his way.

Wisdom from Oswald

Beware of pronouncing any verdict on the life of faith if you are not living it. Not Knowing Whither, 900 R