If there are any parents of little ones reading this, that title might have brought a smile and an: “I don’t think so!” Your children – the ones who throw food on the floor, write on the walls instead of paper, or sit in front of the TV for those few more minutes when you’ve told them it’s bedtime – faultless? Surely not, but they’re still your children.
“Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe” – Philippians 2:14-15. I recently heard a challenging message about these verses, basically saying that if we grumbled, then we were ungodly, and how could we then expect to become children of God? The message had its desired effect – it encouraged me to complain less, but it also sounded very harsh, maybe because it was missing something.
“Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God” – John 1:12. If you believe in Jesus, you’re already a child of God – His precious, dearly loved child. Those verses from Philippians 2 aren’t about becoming children of God, but becoming ‘Children of God without fault’. Parents, can you imagine disowning your child every time they put a foot wrong? I’m not saying bad behaviour is acceptable. A good parent wants the best for their child, and God’s like that too. He gives us warnings; His Spirit counsels us; He finds ways of correcting us, but we never cease to be His.
As for me, though, I want to become a child of God without fault. And the way to do that? Well, I’m working towards it every day. I wrote earlier in this blog about the church being sanctified (made holy), and how we respond to life is part of that sanctifying process. The more we respond in a Christ-like way, the more like Him we’ll become. Sometimes I feel like I’m going backwards; I may not have said that complaint out-loud, but the thought was there, etc … but the important thing is not to give up. If you’re still here on this earth, it means God’s not finished with you yet, so if you mess up, ask Him to forgive you: His kindness is fresh for you every morning … and then keep going, knowing He’s with you at every stage.
Are you, too, on this journey towards becoming a faultless child? And shining like a star?