During this trying time of the pandemic, it has sometimes been difficult to find diversions to take my mind off of the dynamics in the world around me. Have you experienced that challenge? Now that the weather is feeling a bit more like early winter in Ohio, it will even be more challenging in the coming days when outdoor actives will be limited. Even though I love the shows “Star Trek The Next Generation” and “Mountain Men,” binge watching only lasts for so long. One diversion for me is watching football. I’m still not used to watching football games with giant stadiums containing empty seats, but at least the game is available to watch on TV… if not in person.
My Pittsburgh Steelers are 10-0 this year — only 16 teams have accomplished that feat in the Super Bowl era. Don’t worry… this pondering isn’t a fan gloating over his team’s success, and it’s not about the six-time Super Bowl Champion Pittsburgh Steelers either… well… not really anyway.
This week during a press conference, Steelers head coach, Mike Tomlin was asked, “What does it feel like to be a perfect 10-0?” Folks, I absolutely LOVED his reply, he said, “The only thing perfect about us is our record.” You see, there have been too many close games this year to be considered a perfect team. Too many last minute scores. Too many missed opportunities to score points. Too many penalties. Too many miscues. Mike Tomlin was sending a loud and clear message to his team of… “We are FAR from perfect! Don’t you believe it! We just haven’t lost a game yet.” As a coach, I admire his determination to keep his players focused and on the true goal of winning a championship.
Coach Tomlin’s statement this week, though, reminded me of my spiritual position found in Jesus. You see, while I am redeemed, restored and sanctified by Jesus’ work on the cross and by his resurrection, and while that work allows me the privilege to stand before God behind the torn veil of the Holy of Holies… the only thing perfect about me is Jesus’ work in my life. Religious pride, legalistic satisfaction and the attitude of Lawistic superiority in no way push me anywhere near perfection.
There are just too many miscues in my life for me to be considered perfect. Even though I don’t want to… I fail often enough. Sometimes, I miss the leading of the Holy Spirit in my life. Occasionally, I displease the Spirit by a willful attitude. At times, I sin even though I seek to honor God. Yes, I still am fighting the fight of the inner-man. The only thing perfect about me is the work of Jesus in my life. But praise be to God — Jesus’ work in my life IS PERFECT!
The writer of Hebrews wrote about Jesus, “For by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.” Hebrews 10:14 NIV Don’t miss the powerful teaching here. Jesus’ sacrifice has made us positionally perfect — but he also continues to work in our lives as we are “being made” holy. In others words, we are perfectly saved by grace and now Jesus is seeking to produce change within us that will bear spiritual fruit. “Dear Jesus, Thank you for your sacrifice for me. Thank you for the work you have done for me… and for the work that you continue to do in me. May I become more and more the person you desire for me to be. Amen.”