I talk to a lot of young Christians who are really frustrated with themselves. They’re surprised that they aren’t farther along in their walk. They expect to have the majority of their issues figured out by now and when they stumble, struggle or wind up massively confused or overwhelmed, they don’t get it. They wonder, “What’s wrong with me? Why am I still here in this same place?” This frustration can even lead to depression or a crisis of faith.
The funny thing is, they’re not in the same place at all. I can see them growing and changing. I can see the indelible marks of permanent change all over their life, but they can’t recognize that yet and it drives them crazy. They look at older Christians and wonder, “Why am I not just like him?” (And of course, they’re looking at a dude who has been laying his life down on the altar of devotion and front-lines ministry for four decades)
Here’s the deal: It takes time. You’re not going to get where you want to go over night. That dude you’re looking up to was just like you once. It took him or her years and years of stumbles and problems to get where they are now. If you’re not where you want to be spiritually, that’s great. You’re supposed to hunger and thirst for it! But look, in the midst of your longing for more, don’t beat yourself up. Your walk is a process. Jesus is the Carpenter, and a Master Carpenter always works slowly and carefully with meticulous precision. As Paul said, “Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”