Michelle Dowell, Contributor
God will continue and finish the good work in each one of us that he started, the Bible says (Phil. 1:6). When a person sees a personal area of weakness that continues to be that way, it can be disheartening to that person.
It may be a desire for more patience, less worry, or some other godly trait. Even though there might be some growth over time, there's that trap of comparison to others and a concept of perfection.
But the good news is that it's not our power alone that can help us grow. God is working in this world, in our hearts at times. If we believe in the sovereignty of God, it's not hard to believe that God has power to help each one of us grow over time (sanctification), and he says he will. Sanctification is the term for this, one word that means a sentence full of words.
If we are truly Christian, he promises to help us. The good work won't be complete until he returns, but we will be growing over time--possibly a step back here and there, but overall in the end farther than where we started.
If we are truly Christian, God's love for us and our love and gratitude to him makes us want to grow and be less weak. Our faith sometimes shows us our weakness more clearly: We care more deeply and therefore see more deeply.
It also means that it's a process. Wherever we go, there are ads selling us things that we hope will make us truly happy or solve some problem permanently. Whether or not that's the case for the product, this is not the case for our lives. There's no quick fix or total perfection gained at any point. But we don't need to be perfect to be loved, to be told "well done."