Good is not good enough; complete conformity to Christ’s image is the plan of grace.
Most of us are just too easily satisfied. It’s not that we ask too much from our Savior. We have the polar opposite problem—we are willing to settle for far too little. Our personal goals, wishes, and dreams fall far short of God’s plans and purposes for us. God will settle for nothing less than each of us being completely conformed to the likeness of his Son. He will finally and completely defeat sin and death. He will not abandon his purpose for any reason at any time. Our problem is that often we don’t share his mind or buy into his purpose. Other mentalities capture us:
1. The Consumer Mentality.
Here we’re like religious shoppers. We really don’t have functional loyalty to the plan of God. We’re looking for a religious experience that is comfortable and meets our felt needs, and we have no problem in moving when we’re dissatisfied.
2. The “Good Is Good Enough” Mentality.
Here we’re thankful for the changes that grace has brought into our lives, but we get satisfied too easily. We’re satisfied with a little bit of biblical literacy or theological knowledge, a slightly better marriage, a little personal spiritual growth, and so on. We quit seeking, but God is far from being finished with transforming.
3. The “This Bad Thing Can Work” Mentality.
Here we work to make the best out of what God says is not good. So, for example, a married couple is satisfied with marital détente; they learn to negotiate one another’s idolatries rather than working toward a truly godly marriage.
4. The Personal Comfort vs. Personal Holiness Mentality.
Here what captures our hearts is the craving for a life that is comfortable, pleasurable, predictable, and problem free. We tend to judge God’s goodness based on how well life is working for us rather than on his zeal to make good on his redemptive promises to us.
5. The Event vs. Process Mentality.
Here we are just impatient. We sort of want God to do the good things he has promised us, but we don’t want to have to persevere through a lifelong process. We want God’s work to be an event rather than a process, and when it’s not, ourcommitment begins to lag.
Ask yourself today, “What do I really want from God?” Have you made the purposes of his grace your life purpose? Do you want what he wants or are you simply too easily satisfied?
For further study and encouragement: Philippians 2:1–18
Tripp, Paul David. New Morning Mercies (pp. September 21). Crossway. Available for purchase at www.paultripp.com