Striving vs. Arriving

In Philippians 3:13 Paul makes an amazing statement. He tells the church that he is not where he wants to be spiritually. This may come as a surprise given the fact that Paul was an Apostle. Most of us would assume that meant he was rather satisfied with his progress, but this would be a wrong assumption. He addresses his fellow Christian brothers with a personal note of encouragement regarding his own situation. He says, “I do not consider”, meaning he looked back on the process and calmly drew this conclusion. It’s not an emotional reaction. It’s not even depressing. It’s a simple fact of life. He wants his fellow Christians to understand that he still hasn’t fully captured the one who had captured him. Instead he battles the world, the flesh, and the devil every day, just like the rest of us. The error of perfectionism has been alive since the days of the Philippian church. Undoubtedly part of the reason Paul writes this part of the letter is to attack that lie. He has not been made sinless yet, and none of the Philippians had been either. It’s all about striving before arriving.

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