This blog will serve as an opportunity for CR encouragement, shared changed life stories, resources and mini-testimonies.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Progress Not Perfection


"3 Steps Forward 2 Steps Back"

My entire life I’ve heard the phrase “Three steps forward, two steps back.” This phrase is rarely used as a declaration of achievement. Most of the time that I have used it is has been an admission of failure. I have not made as much progress in a particular area of my life that I had hoped…I took three steps forward and two steps back. I have said this phrase ashamed, disappointed and defeated.

I heard someone the other day say this phrase and it caused me to think through the “two steps back” moments of my life. Would I love to always take three steps forward? Absolutely! Would I love to achieve perfection in every area of my life? Yes! But what God has taught me is that life is more about my journey of transformation than my ability to be perfect (or pretend to be perfect).

Here are a few things “two steps back” has provided:
  • Perspective: there are times that I only appreciate the three steps I have taken forward after I realize I’ve taken two steps back. I am often so consumed by moving forward it isn’t until I fail that I stop and see how far God has brought me.
  • Humility: why is it that success can cause me to think how great I am but failure can cause me to realize how great God is? There are times that my two steps back in life, marriage, parenting or ministry has allowed me to realize that there is a God, and I am not Him.
  • My Need for Grace: I grew up thinking grace was an event. The receiving of God’s grace was what occurred at the moment of salvation. What I’ve realized in the two steps back moments in life is that I need God’s grace every single day. It is what not only saves me, but sustains me.
  • Determination to Take 3 More Steps: I want the failures in my life not to define me but to help me. I want to learn and grow and become more of the person God has created me to be, and often that comes through failure. Taking two steps back allows me to see how important taking three more steps forward will be. It provides me fuel to continue on the journey to become more like Christ.
God isn’t interested in you being perfect. He wants you to be teachable.  He wants to transform you. Often that process of transformation looks like “three steps forward, then two steps back.” Don’t be discouraged. Be determined. Learn the things God has for you in the two steps so you can take three more steps.

Remember three minus two is still progress.

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