Sunday’s message was such a breath of fresh air for me. So often, as a Christian, I find myself disappointed when I do not feel like I am living the perfect life. When you love the Lord and dedicate your life to him, the expectation can become that you can do no wrong. This can be considered both inwardly, when self-evaluating, and outwardly when the world watches on. But the reality is that, even when we decide to live our lives with Christ at the center, we will not live a perfect life. Sin leaves us falling short of perfection. The sermon reminded me that I am not called to be perfect on my own.

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. And God blessed them…
— Genesis 1:27–28

Created in the image of the Father, walking the earth like his Son — this only example of true perfection that we ever have. Unfortunately, we can fall into the trap of thinking we are not good enough, worthy enough, or loved enough to live in the grace of God because we live in a fallen world, and we fall short of the perfection that we were created in the very image of. Every choice we make will not be perfect. The reality is there is no such thing on our own.

And as if that isn’t bad enough, the world is watching as well, scrutinizing every move of the Christian. How many times have you seen someone fall short or make a mistake and heard someone else say, “Wow, and I thought he was a Christian.” Those on the outside looking in think that the decision to follow Jesus gives one the ability to avoid ever doing wrong again.

But the good news for us is that, by committing our lives to Christ, we have admitted we fall short of perfection without the intervention of and full reliance on God. We need the Savior to petition on our behalf.

Even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love, he predestined us for adoption to himself as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will… In him, we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace.
— Ephesians 1:4–5, 7

The Bible tells us that his power is made perfect in our weakness. He is there for us to call on every single day. When we pursue excellence, he is there. When we fall short in our pursuits, he is there. If we were perfect, we wouldn’t need a Savior. And a life lived separately from that Savior is far from perfect.

Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.
— Galatians 6:9

What God wants from us is to do good, and pursue excellence in his name. He wants us to be the very best we can be with his help. He wants us to pursue fulfilling the plans he has for us. The forgiveness of Jesus does not give us a free pass on a life of continued sin. Each day we are blessed to wake up in, we are to carry out our work here on earth for the glory of the Lord. The world should see through our actions that God is the head of our life. We should spend our days making much of his name. Our excellence should make much of our excellent God!