I love the phrases used in A.A. that say we are a "work in progress" and that we strive for "progress not perfection". The reason why is simple, humility. Only by being humble can we overcome the powerful forces that powered our addictions and our sins. Check out the quote in the book of James: God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.
No doubt that a life moved from darkness to light is continually under construction. I have seen and heard so many stories of life transformation and how it occurred that my own personal faith has continually been bolstered to know God is still in the miracle working business. Grace has abounded where punishment was deserved, and the more we understand that concept the more forgiven and understanding we feel.
But yet, we are still capable of bad decisions, horrible relationship skills, irresponsible financial choices and what we refer to as "stinking thinking". On both sides of this, the doers and the observers, need to understand these key words, under construction, humility and grace that need to be put into practice and remembered the way the Lord has taught us to do.
If God opposes the proud, then he is not happy with those who constantly point out what others are doing wrong (Luke 18:9-14) and also is not pleased with those who remain in denial that they are lost in sin or addiction. It takes humility to live it and grace to understand it, both not automatic for us as human beings.
That is why we who are more wrong and those who are more right need to both realize we are all under construction. Not just me, but also you. The day we arrive in heaven we will be roaming around with a whole bunch of recovering sinners, and we will all be perfected then..
Until then, let's strive for progress not perfection, and give each other a little space to grow.
Glenn is an ex-Marine Viet Nam vet who is also a recovering alcoholic, clean and sober for 30 years. He has been involved in start up and ongoing recovery ministry at North Atlanta Church and Campus for the last two decades. He has a passion for outreach and to spread the message that the answer to lasting and fulfilling recovery from addiction is in a relationship with Jesus Christ. He and the ATB team are available to assist in your questions or needs on an individual basis and will do so maintaining complete confidentiality. You may e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.