Be completely humble. Esteem everyone as better than you self. Die daily to your desires and seek to be a servant of all. Watch every word that comes out of your mouth for you will give an account of it on the Day of Judgment. Take every thought captive and make sure it is in obedience to Christ. Guard your eyes to avoid evil and let your light shine before everyone. No pressure huh?
If you add to that the commands to love your friends and your enemies, do not return evil for evil but bless instead, feed the hungry, clothe those without, give freely to those that ask, and redeem the time for the days are evil, our days are pretty much full. And, we are destined to fail. What are we to do?
We walk in grace. Moment by moment we live, move and have our being in Christ. Jesus Christ lived a perfect, sinless life fully pleasing to His heavenly Father. We are not Jesus and so we will never arrive at total perfection this side of eternity. On our best day, we still fall woefully short of perfection. Even if we did everything we should have, countless things were left undone. We fail but we are not failures. We are works in progress.
When we fall, and we all fall, we fall in the right direction. We are called to walk on the Highway of Holiness following our Lord and Master, but that does not mean we do not slip and fall. We walk in His footsteps but we are often entangled and we stumble. We are not perfect, we are recipients of grace from the One that is. If we could be perfect then Jesus did not need to come and live a sinless life. One of the wisest humans outside of Jesus wrote:
for the righteous falls seven times and rises again, but the wicked stumble in times of calamity. Proverbs 24:16
We fall but we get back up. We fall multiple times, but we get up and keep on walking by the grace given by our Lord. We are not perfect but we are heading somewhere and it is perfect. We are not yet clothed with immortality and perfection but we will be someday soon. We do not yet look like Jesus but we shall in eternity. What a glorious day that will be!
In the meantime we walk. We fall, get up and keep on walking. We cry, repent, forgive others, ourselves, and we walk. We have a cloud of witnesses that if we could see and hear them, would be shouting out encouragement to us! “Keep it up, your almost there.” Don’t quit now, you are so close.” Come on, get up, shake off the dirt and filth, be cleansed in the blood of Jesus, and keep on walking.”
How do I know they are saying such things? Consider whom the writer of Hebrews was probably referring to when he wrote that famous passage in 12:1. If we were to go back and study each of the lives of the people in chapter 11, we would see a direction, not perfection. None of those mentioned were perfect. In fact, most of them were people that failed and fell. But, they got back up and kept on walking. So must we. These people looked to God for forgiveness, strength, and direction, and so must we.
We must be those that lay aside the sin that so easily entangles us and look to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. As we consider Him, we renew our minds, regain our strength and we walk on towards the prize. We are not perfect, but we know Who is and we are those following Him. Someday soon, we shall see Him and be like Him. In that day we will only fall at His feet, and that is the proper direction to fall.