When I set my sights on a goal, I want to complete it as quickly and efficiently as I can. However, when my goal is to become “like-Christ,” it never really gets checked off because I am always learning and growing through His love for me.
God is teaching me that I don’t have to wait until a task is finished to be thankful, but to give thanks throughout the entire process. Paul is talking to the church at Thessalonica in this verse, and though though they are still learning and growing, he says “we can’t help but thank God for you.”
He doesn't say we can’t thank God for you because you are not yet perfect. He says “we can’t help” but thank God because of all the progress they've made. God knows that we aren't perfect and we won’t be until He brings us home to Him. So why do we expect ourselves to be? It is a question I have to remind myself of all the time. I want to strive to be perfect, to imitate Christ, but when I am doing my best and when my heart is for the Lord, there is nothing more I can do, but ask forgiveness and then forgive myself for falling short of God’s glory.
I can say, I can’t help by thank God for the effect of my faith flourishing. I am quicker to rely on Him who gives me strength. I can find peace in the unpredictable (more often than not at least.) I can be kind and joyful even during the chaos. These are traits I could not have without the power of Christ in me.
Others around us, our friends and family, our church members, the person behind the cash register, the driver beside us on the highway...none of us are perfect. We are flawed and we fail. However, through Christ, our love for one another can and will grow. And that is something worth being thankful for.
I am thankful that I can forgive others and that they can forgive me. I am thankful that God forgives me and encourages me to grow in love and flourish in my faith. I am thankful that I am learning how to forgive myself and rely on God’s strength to guard and guide me on this wonderful journey we call life.
View more in the "With Thankful Hearts" Series