There are no ideal Christians. Anywhere.
Devotional Thought: I’m so glad I don’t have to live up to some lofty idea of what a real Christian should be. Jesus did that for me. Whew!
A rumor is floating around that somewhere in the midwest there’s a man who is actually living the Christian life in epic proportions. Research indicates his name is Ernie. We don’t yet know his last name.
The word on the street is that he is a model Christian, the primo example.
The hearsay is that he reads his Bible everyday, even when he doesn’t feel like it. He prays several times a day and never leaves anyone out as he works through his long prayer list. He not only attends his local church regularly but serves tirelessly in at least two church departments. Co-workers are so impressed by his continuous joy that they ask him about his faith at work which he shares daily. He tithes and gives to other ministries above his tithe. His wife and kids are happy, well-adjusted and serving the Lord.
Ernie never breaks any laws including the speed limit and as far we can tell, he even loves his mother-in-law. He glorifies God in everything he does.
We haven’t been able to find anyone who has actually seen Ernie, or spoken with him. But we think he lives in a small town in Missouri. Ernie sightings are rare but we know he must exist because Christians everywhere compare themselves to this elusive Christian example.
He does what very few have been able to do. He lives the Christian life.
There’s only one small problem. Like Big Foot, Ernie doesn’t exist.
for all have sinned and FALL SHORT of the glory of God, (Romans 3:23 ESV)
Notice that this scripture says that not only have all sinned (past tense) but all FALL short (present tense). They still fall short in their own ability. Nobody lives the Christian life. We have all sinned and we all still fail to live up to the glory of God. That means there are no ideal Christians running around out there.
So stop trying so hard to live up to an ideal that doesn’t exist. Way too many believers, in they’re human attempt to live pristine lives, either give up or deceive themselves into thinking they are truly godly. They get discouraged about their personal failures or become delusional about their own goodness.
Only one has EVER lived the Christian life. That would be Jesus. And the good news is that he gives his life to you freely. Not only did he die for you. He gave his perfect, righteous life to you.
For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be SAVED BY HIS LIFE. (Romans 5:10 ESV)
Not only does Jesus’ death on the cross reconcile you to God, His life saves you. We forget that.
So instead of wearing yourself out trying to live up to an elusive ideal of what the Christian life is supposed to be, trust Jesus to do that through you. He will. Take a deep breath and relax. Ernie doesn’t exist.