Becoming Perfect

I’ve learned so much about following Christ over the almost twenty years that I’ve been dealing with this frustrating disease known as ALS. It’s been a long and, in every sense, a painful road to travel. But, from a Christian perspective, it’s these difficult trials that are supposed to shape and perfect us:

Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:2-4)

One word stands out to me when I read the above passage – perfect.

Perfect: being entirely without fault or defect: flawless b: satisfying all requirements: accurate.

Jesus did say that His followers were to be perfect (Matthew 5:48). That’s a tough standard; the toughest of all standards. It’s kind of funny to think about now, but before making a commitment to follow Christ, back when I was still committed to following myself, Matthew was the first book I read; I’m kind of surprised I didn’t throw that Gideon Bible across the hotel room when I came to that part about being perfect.

I was so far from perfect back then, but I’m still so far away; “perfect” seems as far from me as a tiny star in the darkest of nights. But it was a tiny star that led the kings of east across the wilderness to Jesus. Like that tiny star, “Perfect” is unattainable for even the best of Christ’s followers, but it should always be our focus. I think that’s what Jesus meant.

Even late in his life, after suffering through many difficult trials, the Apostle Paul knew that he still wasn’t perfect, but he still had perfection as his goal:

“Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead…” (Philippians 3:12-13)

If I asked for some examples of spiritual imperfections, most of us would give examples like gossiping, angry outbursts, impatience and so many other faults of our words and/or actions.

One would think, as I once naively thought, that if a person was unable to speak or move, it would be easier for him or her to become spirituality perfect. As someone who can’t speak or move, I now know this isn’t the case.

Religion is all about right and wrong actions, but Christianity is a lifelong journey of perfecting the spirit and the soul (mind, will and emotions) of man. Actions are important, of course, but only if done with the proper motives.

“But the fruit of the Spirit (Godly character) is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.” (Galatians 5:22-23)

Before ALS paralyzed my body and silenced my voice, I wrongly believed the above passage only applied to our actions. Now I know different. ALS (not being able to move or speak) has forced me to focus on my spirit and thought-patterns. This can be a frightening process, like confronting long-entrenched demons. But, on the road to becoming perfect, this is a process that we all must go through, and it shouldn’t take a terminal diagnosis to force us into it.

Over these difficult years of struggling with this dreadful disease, I’ve discovered that the fruit of the Spirit, or lack thereof, is more about our inner man. Good actions can just be an act.

How do you know if your actions are directed from godly (perfect) motives?

The first and most important thing is to determine whether you’re doing the act to please God or man.

A people-pleaser will never be viewed as perfect in the eyes of God. Christians motivated by a desire to please God will be viewed as perfect in His eyes. But, their words and actions will not be viewed favorably by all men. Jesus is proof of this.

Jesus is the only perfect (flawless, sinless, righteous…) being that’s ever stepped foot on earth. He was despised by both secular and religious people. Keep that in mind when you’re standing up for what you believe; this is the greatest and most difficult action of all.

“For I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 1:6)

About Bill Sweeney

In 1996, Bill was diagnosed with ALS (“Lou Gehrig’s Disease”) and the doctors told him he had 3-5 years to live. He is now completely paralyzed and unable to speak, but by God’s grace, he’s still alive and through his blog shares a message of hope in Christ - Unshakable Hope!

Posted on June 21, 2016, in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 138 Comments.

  1. Speaking truth to ourselves- always a challenge. Thank you.

    Like

  2. Hello my friend, I just now prayed for you. I don’t desire to broadcast that, but this is to encourage you, not shine light on me. My heart feels for you, and I wish I could make you well.
    Just remember that me and God love you.
    “For by one offering he hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.” Hebrews 10.14
    This means you, my saint brother and friend.

    Like

  3. This was a great post about understanding perfection. It was especially insightful when you talked about the importance of our thoughts and not just our actions. Although you have suffered much with ALS, I am grateful for the wisdom that God has given you to share with us.

    Like

  4. Thank you, Bill, for your constant witness to the Truth and the hope we have in Jesus Christ! Praying for you today!

    Like

  5. Reblogged this on Wings of the Dawn and commented:
    The Holy Spirit has so many times spoken to my heart through Bill’s posts. This post was not any different.

    Like

  6. I feel so inspired by your story. How you deal with that horrible disease and you still stay strong and positive. I love your courage and I thank you for reminding us that all things are possible in Christ. May God’s grace continue being with you now and forever.

    Like

  7. Yes, it is all about the heart, because God sees all. Praise God we are perfect before Him in Christ Jesus our Lord and Savior. Praise God He equips us to live for Him by His indwelling Holy Spirit. Praise God He lovingly corrects us, even though sometimes it seems so hard. Praise God He is for us and not against us because we are His through repentant faith in Jesus Christ. Thank you for the encouragement that you have shared with us. Praise God that He loves you and has given you this “voice” to encourage His other children. Amen!

    Like

  8. You continue to inspire and encourage many with your thought provoking posts, Bill! That includes me! May God continues to use you mightily! Blessings to you and yours!

    Like

  9. I just read your excellent post: “Becoming Perfect.” One line in particular really struck a chord with me. “A people-pleaser will never be viewed as perfect in the eyes of God. Christians motivated by a desire to please God will be viewed as perfect in His eyes. But, their words and actions will not be viewed favorably by all men. Jesus is proof of this.” Thank you for the reminder!

    Like

  10. Yes very True Bill, God does tell us that we are to aim to be Perfected in Love and like Paul and others we can reach this goal before we die if not than the Scriptures are not True. (Matthew 5:48 -Hebrews 6:1 -Philippians 3:14-16 -2Timithy 3:17-1 John 4:17-19 -1John 4:16-17 -2Corinthians 13:11)

    God does not afflict us or willingly allow us to be as the Scripture below confirms but as we go through Trials that life and Satan brings to us, we rejoice because God is with us and so we can endure and when we continue to Trust and obey Him turning from evil and choosing to do good, we are than empowered to be able to, we are choosing to put our Carnal flesh to death by The Spirit (Romans 8 :12-15- Romans 6 – Colossians 3:4-6 -Galatians 5:24 -26) and our lives will show His Fruit, yes we walk as Jesus did in Love and Righteousness. (1John3:6-7- 2 Corinthians7:1)

    Lamentations 3: 33 For God doth not afflict willingly nor grieve the Children of Men.

    Isaiah 43:1-3 – Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you. I have called you by name; you are mine. When you go through deep waters and great trouble, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown! When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the LORD, your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Saviour.”

    Jeremiah 29 :11-12 For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.

    Christian Love in Christ Jesus – Anne.

    Like

    • Thank you for your comments and for the verses, Anne.
      I agree that God doesn’t cause our trials, but obviously He does allow them – yet “God is good” and “God is love,” we must stay focused on God’s true nature at all times, but especially in the trials.

      Like

  11. Reblogged this on Even In This and commented:
    As a performance-driven Christian, this blog post resonated with me and is a “perfect” illustration of what it means to rely on the righteousness of Christ instead of our own efforts.

    Like

  12. Bill you are SHOUTING good and helpful stuff here, the temporary inconvenience notwithstanding (Doug). Perfection goes through stages of reasonable development – just like an apple. The early blossom is not yet the shining fruit. But patience, faith and chastening will bring things to pass (just like Hebrews chapters 10, 11 and 12). Our Lord delights in every phase as does any parent or loving Elder Brother.

    Like

  13. Thanks, Bill, for reminding us about the role of motives! That is what really gets at the heart where no one sees but God. Am I doing this for God or man is a simple measure, but so helpful. I’m also grateful that God is the one perfecting us by his Holy Spirit in us when we accept the righteousness Jesus offers. It’s easy for me to get caught up in doing the right things and never being enough when I strive for perfection (oops – sure sign of a perfectionist) and that in itself is not godly because the focus is on me being good enough, not Christ being enough. In the end, the more I love him, the more I want to be like him so the more I ask him to decrease me and increase him in me. Thank you for the example of honesty and challenge you are for me!

    Like

    • Thank you, Laura. Yes, the path to becoming perfect is our (flesh) decreasing and Christ (in us) increasing. I think this is the cure for perfectionism – those seeking Christ’s perfection realize they’re far from perfect.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Yes! It has more to do with motive than actions… kind of like works without faith being dead, or works without love being nothing.

    Like

    • Exactly! That verse speaks volumes. Even atheists can be good people and do good works, I know some of these. I don’t want to question their motives, but obviously they’re not doing the good works to glorify God. From a Christian perspective, our faith motivates our works.
      Thank you for your comments, Rene.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. So good to hear from you again, Bill! Love that Philippians passage–I recite it before bedtime every night. “Perfect” (Greek = teleos) shows up again and again in Scripture and, yes, it’s clearly at the top of God’s agenda for us. Sometimes it’s translated “complete” or “finished” (Jesus last words on the cross), sometimes as “whole.” God has clearly done–and is currently doing–much to “perfect” you, my friend!

    Like

    • Thank you, Mitch. Yes, I knew that “complete” and “finished” are synonyms (in the Greek) for perfect in that and other passages. Knowing that really helps me understand the context – God wants us to be perfect, complete, whole and finished!

      Like

  16. Just adding my thanks to all these others for your heart-touching post, Bill. You are so right: it’s our motives that indicate just how “perfect” we’re becoming. Motives are not easily changed or controlled. But as our relationship with Jesus grows, our motives start to take care of themselves. Gratitude is key. Out of appreciation for all he’s done for us, we want to please him. (I’m still on the learning curve!)

    Like

  17. Wow, yes. So often we focus on the destination but God wants us to be present for the journey that perfects us and draws us closer to Him.

    Like

    • Thank you for your comments, Patricia. That’s it exactly. Because of Christ’s sacrifice, our destination (heaven) is secure. The time we have remaining on the journey is, or should be, about making the destination secure for others. Even I can be a part of this mission.

      Like

  18. Thank you, Bill, for sharing this excellent message! Your posts always bless & encourage me so much, but I have to say that this one is my favorite so far. You are so right about our motives being the fundamental foundation in anything we do for God, for He looks on the heart and not on the outward appearance.
    If we are not truly, from our hearts doing the work for God, we must be honest and ask ourselves who or what are we doing it for!
    Paul exhorts us to examine our hearts, and it is always a good idea to pray and ask the Lord to reveal our own heart’s true motives to us, and to pray always for a pure and humble heart before God in all that we do for Him.

    None of us will ever be perfect in this life, but like Paul said, we must forget whatever lies behind us and focus our eyes on Jesus, the Author and Perfecter of our Faith, who will perfect that which concerns us, and who will ultimately finish that good work which He began in each one of us when He saved us. (Philippians 1:6)
    Thanks so much for such a great message! Your life is a beautiful blessing in Christ’s Kingdom.
    God bless you always,
    Suzanne

    Like

    • Thank you for your comments, Suzanne. You’re so right about examining our heart, that’s why the New Testament tells us to give secretly… If God is the only one that knows of our giving, by definition there cannot be any human motives.

      Like

  19. Always a great word!!!! Thanks Bill

    Like

  20. I remember in my much earlier years… trying to be perfect in things I did and said and thought. Of course this is as you say unattainable, and in striving for perfection we likely make the biggest mistake of all…..

    Understanding why some go through such difficulties as Christians or non-Christians is also something we won’t know … and as I’ve always tried to help some I know who wonder about this…. all I know is that as followers of Christ, God is right beside us as we go through them…. we are never alone! Take care Bill! Diane

    Like

  21. I love your perspective on this and hope your testimony helps many who struggle with the question of “why.” Thanks for sharing.

    Like

  22. Thanks for the good word, Brother!

    Like

  23. Wonderful reminder for us all. Thanks for continuing to share your journey with us. I don’t know if you remember me, but I was Jim “Catfish” Hunter’s pastor while he lived with ALS. I learned much from him. Now…I have another good friend who has recently been diagnosed with ALS and once again I see God at work in his life and the life of his family. You all are such an inspiration and encouragement to me. I continue to pray for you and your family.
    <<Pastor Keith Vaughan, Knoxville, TN

    Like

    • Thank you, Pastor Keith. Of course I remember you, I think about Catfish Hunter every time I see your name. I’m so sorry about your other friend being diagnosed – I hate this and every other disease! How’s your friend doing?
      Thank you very much for your prayers.

      Like

  24. So very delighted to hear from you ! You are a Sage in your words and we are like minded in your conclusions. I cannot bear the honor that you do in your suffering but am always blessed by you~ you are a blessed soul. Wynema

    Like

  25. Thank you for this post. Recently my husband and I have been very aware of the development of the fruit of the Spirit, and that every day gives us a choice to grow that fruit … or not …
    I saw an ugly part of myself I wish I did not have only a few days ago. I laid it down saying sorry to God … I wish I didn’t have it … not actions even, just thoughts that did not line up … ones the world would say were understandable, acceptable, but in my heart I knew otherwise.
    I read yesterday, spiritual gifts are freely given and are no reflection of maturity … but fruit of the Spirit are an indicator of maturity … they were thoughts to ponder … as are yours – I thank you.
    Blessings, God is Good!

    Like

    • Thank you for your comments. So you also learned that the fruits of the Spirit are more about thought-patterns than actions. If the thoughts are good, the good actions come naturally. Unfortunately the reverse is true also. And, as you said, “good thoughts” (for Christians) are God thoughts. There are many thoughts and actions that might be perfectly fine with non-Christians that the Holy Spirit would convict us of.

      Liked by 1 person

      • I think as we get more mature, the Holy Spirit can convict us before the thought even becomes actions and we learn to choose not in indulge in unGodly behaviour. I sometimes can sense His intense pleasure as I choose Him and His ways and that is sufficient reward.
        That being said – I am just coming out of one of the most intense battles and I have not always chosen to walk well.
        I also believe that the enemy plants or shoots fiery arrows at us as thoughts and if we can identify those as not ours we can reject them – as Paul encourages us to bring every thought captive to Christ.
        Your journey is an intense one.
        Have you come across a book about Brother Lawrence (I think is his name)? He so focused on the love of God that people would come to watch him working at the monastery because the Presence of God was so think on and in him. I have that on my “list to read”.
        You are an inspiration … While your body and speech may not function your mind is sharp and I can understand that would be the challenge with ALS. And while I sincerely wish you were well, your blog, when you have the energy to write impacts deeply.

        Like

  26. Thanks Bill. Great to read your thoughts. Your blog post is always a blessing endeavoring to draw us up to another level. Many blessings to you.

    Like

  27. Another inspiring post, Bill. I found the section on people-pleasing especially relevant. Thank you.

    Your friend,

    A.

    Like

  28. Wow! what amazing insight you have. Having ALS, I often wonder about what’s ahead and you’ve filled in a lot of answers. It’s not always easy to know if you’re doing something to please God or man. I hope you don’t mind but I forwarded your blog to a friend who also has ALS. You are an amazing man of God, speaking the mind of God. John 21:18-19 give me great peace knowing that I can still glorify God when I can’t move or speak anymore. God is so merciful.

    Like

    • Thank you very much for your comments. I really like hearing from others with this horrible disease, especially from Christians with ALS. Thank you for forwarding my post to your friend, I hope both of you are doing well – as well as you can be doing with ALS.

      Like

  29. Very true post. It is about time we all stood up and told Religion, and Religious people that none are greater than the other in works or in God’s eyes. NO man can compare their perfectness with another’s or condemn another as we are all equal in sin. This is a lie from the enemy himself to try to keep us distant from God, to seek the approval of man not God. Yet when we fall into His loving arms of grace we find perfection is in how much of Him we have in us. He is the only one to get the glory! Perhaps you might like this post …. https://innerangelsandenemies.wordpress.com/2014/10/29/when-will-we-feel-good-enough/

    Like

  30. You have been on my mind and heart this week! So glad to hear from you. And your message speaks volumes about the difference between our inner selves and the selves we show others. I cling to the promise that God will complete His good work in me. At 78, I feel I’m running out of time, but realize that if it was up to me there wouldn’t ever have been enough time. God operates on a different clock! I have felt for several years that what I most need to become perfect in is forgiveness. And I decided long ago that my marching song needed to be “Persevere!”
    Thank you so much for this post. I can’t imagine what it takes to accomplish these posts, but I know that you touch many many hearts and make a difference for all of us.

    Like

    • Thank you for your encouraging comments, Eileen. Forgiveness is a great gauge of the progress we’re making on the road to becoming perfect because true Forgiveness requires all of the Spirit’s fruits.

      Like

  31. Beautiful! Thank you!

    Like

  32. As always, you have hit the nail squarely on the head, and encouraged me along the way. Thank you.

    Like

  33. Wow, Bill, I never thought about it before; but I guess being in your situation affords you more time and stillness before the Lord to know and deal with the inner man. The rest of us can be easily distracted by our busyness. Yet, what truly counts in the end is the heart business. “…but God looks at the heart. 1 Samuel 16:7 ” Thank you for your excellent words that point us to Christ’s perfection.
    Blessings to you & Mary ~ Wendy

    Like

  34. jacquelinegwallace

    Thanks, Bill, for another good post. Today some friends and I touched on the Philippians verses and truths you mentioned as we are working through my book, Brokenness to Beauty, developing a Bible study companion to the book. God is good; his Word so rich. Bless you.

    Like

  35. Wow. I am uncommonly grateful for having read this. Thank you.

    Like

  36. This post means so much to me! Thank you for sharing it.

    Blessings,
    Theresa

    Like

  37. Thank you for a wonderful and inspiring post my friend.

    This is just what I needed to hear today.

    Your friend in Christ,
    Nancy

    Like

  38. Bill, the fact that your experience sheds a different perspective on this truth than most of us will ever have the opportunity of experiencing makes what you’ve said even more poignant. Perfecting spirit, soul and heart. I know I can wear my attitudes on my sleeve as easily as I can my feelings. People don’t have to guess what’s going on inside because of my demeanor. I so appreciate your focus on growing our inner person. Actions CAN be faked. Good CAN be phony. Thank you for really striking at the heart of the issue here–the process of becoming more like Jesus.

    Like

    • Thank you, Dayle. We all wear our attitude on our sleeve (or on our face) from time to time. I can’t speak or physically harm anyone, but if looks could kill, I’d be a serial killer.

      Like

  39. Good to hear from you, Bill!

    I’m so glad that the Father sees perfect in Christ those He is still sanctifying in behavior (Hebrews 10:14). God bless you and your family!

    Vanessa

    Like

  40. I’ll need to read this article few times, just so good. You are an inspiration.

    Like

  41. Great post! I loved your statement, “The first and most important thing is to determine whether you’re doing the act to please God or man.” That should be on the daily check-list of every Christian. — Pastor Kevin Kinchen

    Like

  42. “Christianity is a lifelong journey of perfecting the spirit and the soul (mind, will and emotions) of man.” And remember, God looks at the heart, not the physical being. I would guess He would resounding approve of your heart.

    Like

  43. Such perfect timing for this message. Managing a large staff introduces a lot of opportunities for peace, patience and kindness. Standing up for these people is often a challenge in a corporate world that is so willing and quick to focus on imperfection. Thanks so much for keeping me centered (as always) !

    Like

  44. “Religion is all about right and wrong actions, but Christianity is a lifelong journey of perfecting the spirit and the soul (mind, will and emotions) of man. Actions are important, of course, but only if done with the proper motives.”

    I agree with you look on perfection. Is not the Gospel about depending on the perfect Finished work of Jesus? I see this eluded to in the faint star analogy. Never is it my faith that encourages me but, in how real the one is, that I have put my little dim faith, founded in.

    Religion is about self and self righteousness right /wrong actions. Christianity a is New invitation to relationship to God through the work of Jesus. It is just as hard to accept by the Jew as it is for the Gentile. It is really too good to be true by earthly standards.

    The immense goodness of the gospel and the work of Jesus Christ on the cross is the only pure motivation for doing good. And if good is done by this motivation the I in me cannot take any credit for any good that comes from it. Therefore it is only a praise of something that God has done, never me.

    No matter what I do or think, or attempt to do, my fallenness and sinfulness is always a part of it. But through the hope of the Gospel of Jesus Christ I can only give good that happens through me, back to God because it is His outflow of blessing from His perfect source. Unfortunately I try to hang on to some of the good (for ego and self redemption) and become prideful in the process.

    Thank you Bill for shaking some of these thoughts out of me. I do not know you but your good brother because you are spurring me on to love and good works. I will never be the precise writer you are. But I will attempt to share my thoughts to whoever will read them or listen to me. I will pray for you in your walk with Jesus Christ. Feel free to comment on this and help me walk more closely with my Lord, I would humbly request your prayers for me in my growth in Christ.

    What do you think Bill, is perfection normal?

    Is Christianity the only belief system on earth, that the founder and standard creator, came and paid the full price for meeting His perfect standard. So His followers entry into the everlasting reward of following Jesus is based in his own finished perfect work here on earth? Is this what the awesome good news is founded in?

    Like

    • Thank you, Denny. You’re right, our works are all about what motivates us to do them – glorifying ourselves or glorifying the name of Christ.
      As to your question, there is no way to be perfect in God’s eyes apart from relying on the sacrifice of Jesus Christ and His righteousness (perfection). That’s Christianity 101.

      Like

  45. We were never told being perfected would be easy or comfortable… Although we wish it were so! Excellent post!

    Like

  46. A pastor once preached on this subject. He held up 2 pens, a Montblanc and a Bic and asked ‘which one of these is perfect?’ The correct response is ‘both’ because they fulfill the purpose for which they were created. Each of us is in the process of becoming more like Jesus (perfect) but we should accept our individual characteristics as being those things which make us unique; ie., perfect, according to God’s plan and purpose. Thank you for these reflections and meditations, Bill. Be blessed!

    Like

  47. I always look forward to reading your posts. This one did not disappoint. Here’s my favorite part,”Religion is all about right and wrong actions, but Christianity is a lifelong journey of perfecting the spirit and the soul (mind, will and emotions) of man. Actions are important, of course, but only if done with the proper motives.” My prayer: Oh, Lord, you know me inside and out. Please help me see where my motives don’t match with yours and help me to change from the inside out!
    Blessings to you as you continue on the life-long journey of growing in faith!

    Like

  48. As always you give us wonderful reminders and encouragement. God bless you!

    Like

  49. Amen! May God continually bless you in all you do.

    Like

  50. Bill – I heard this past weekend Kathy Keller talk about Joni Eareckson Tada’s fight against lust. How at first, since she was going to be denied any sexual action, she thought it would be safe and justified to indulge in fantasies. But she was brought up short (by the HS) when the next thought came to her – that God and other spirits would know what she was entertaining in her mind. So your post resonates. And calls us to something we cannot do on our own.

    John Piper at this Gospel Coalition Women’s conference in Indianapolis kept teaching a persistent theme – THINK correctly so that you FEEL correctly so that you DO/ACT correctly, according to righteousness.

    I applaud God at how He has burned away any visible self-pity. That still comes to me as a fiery dart from time to time.

    Like

    • Thank you, Maria. It’s good to hear that Joni is human, I’ve always thought of her as an angel in a wheelchair:)
      It’s so true that God sees our thoughts. When I lost my ability to speak, I spent a lot of time studying if God hears our silent prayers and I now am certain that He hears our thoughts – all of them. This is both comforting and frightening. It’s so important that we read God’s word to cleanse our minds.

      Liked by 1 person

  51. Your voice through your posts like this one are always strong and clear. Your disease has not silenced your impact on my life. I am facing end of life and you are my inspiration to make every day count. Thank you for your words of wisdom.

    Liked by 1 person

  52. Jennifer Stepanski

    Thank you. So inspirational! I Love you, God Bless you. I miss you and your family. So encouraging to see a post from Unshakable Hope. BELIEVE… JESUS, JESUS, JESUS, Help us Always! Appreciate you so much.

    Like

  53. Amen and amen! Great post! Love this. Thank you for reminding us we are all flawed and Jesus is the only perfect being. Every day I strive to be more like Christ and no matter how difficult it may be, I keep trusting Him. He can do anything but fail. Glory! Praying for you. Be blessed! 🙂

    Like

  54. Your blog post illustrates in a tangible way what I discovered a few years ago….fruit of the spirit is our inner man. I wish I’d known this truth sooner. I spent too much of my life as a people (and God) pleaser. A “good” Christian would bear good fruit via actions. Then I learned, abiding with the Lord would bring the inner fruit that would pour forward into my daily actions. Thank you, Bill, for showing us the value of this scripture.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Karen. I’m glad you figured this out, I’m kind of slow. I thought of something while reading your comment – can a Christian demonstrate the fruits of the Spirit when alone? Definitely. Nothing takes more patience than waiting on God.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Great point! I’ve never thought about it, but you’re right. Patience and self control is necessary when we wait on God. Love this food for thought today. I need to spend more time being still. Literally. So I can receive the fruit of the Spirit.

        Like

        • Yes, Karen, all Christians need to spend more time “being still” (no cell phones, computer, TV…) “Be still and know that I am God…” (Psalm 46:10). Maybe that’s the only way we can KNOW God.

          Like

  55. God never ceases to speak to me through your words. Thank you for your faithfulness. Pure motives. Standing for Truth. Fruit of the Spirit. Allowing God to continue His work in me until He comes! Thank you for encouraging me in my walk today.
    Thanking God for you!

    Like

  56. “Until the day of Christ” means that your current life is not the only one you got. God knows how many you’ve already lived and you’ll keep coming back and reborn into this world until you’re perfect.

    An example of some perfect, ordinary people are Gautama Buddha and the Bhudhists who came following the Holy Spirit to pay thanks to baby Jesus.

    They already had achieved perfection, that’s why they only needed to thank Jesus.

    Like

    • Thank you for your thought-provoking comments, Berni.
      You have a very interesting theology, a mix of Christianity, Hinduism and Buddhism. As a Christian, I only go along with what the Bible says. For example, how do you get around verses like this: “And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment: So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.” (Hebrews 9:27-28)
      Let’s be honest, Berni, human nature being what it is, if your theology was correct, many people would use and abuse for many reincarnations telling themselves they can get it right in their next life or maybe the one after that.
      Do you consider yourself a Christian, Berni?

      Like

  57. Amen, brother. Thanks for the stiff encouragement, as always. ALL of our bodies will fail, but our spirits never will. Your letter is a good reminder to care for our spirits, and allow God’s Spirit to guide our intentions.

    Liked by 1 person

  58. Very insightful. I appreciate your thoughts on perfection. It’s not about actions as you point out. It’s the inner person, the heart.

    Liked by 1 person

  59. THank you, love you, Unshakeable Hope

    Like

  60. Great reminder today! Thank you 🙂

    Like

  61. Thank you very much for the re-blog.

    Like

  1. Pingback: Becoming Perfect | A disciple's study

  2. Pingback: “Becoming Perfect” 6/24/2016 Written by my friend Bill Sweeney, stricken with ALS 19 years ago. | God's group

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

w

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: