Diamonds in the Rough
"We proclaim him [Jesus Christ], admonishing and teaching everyone with all wisdom, so that we may present everyone perfect [complete and mature] in Christ."1
It is true that God loves and accepts us as we are, but he loves us too much to leave us as we are.
God's design for each one of us is that we become the person he envisioned us to beónot only to receive forgiveness for our sins and the gift of eternal life, but also to grow and become mature, to be made whole, to resolve any and all impaired relationships, and to learn to love and accept ourselves, others, and God more fully.
Forgiveness and eternal life are gifts from God. There is nothing we can do to earn them. We receive them by faith in Jesus Christ. But growth and maturity are a life-long process. These are our responsibility. When we begin, we are like diamonds in the rough. To be polished takes a lot of time and hard work.
As Stuart Briscoe said, "The same sun that melts wax hardens clay." In the same way God's discipline hardens some folk and they become bitter; in others it produces gentleness, a loving spirit, growth and maturity. God's will is the latter but the choice is ours.
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, in every trial please help me to see what I need to learn, what I need to change, and how I can keep growing to become the person you have envisioned for me to be. And please give me the grace and courage I need to submit to your molding. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Colossians 1:28 (NIV).