The plain answer is that Jesus is perfect, but I most definitely am not! My self-centered rebellion is covered by His sacrifice, so in God’s eyes I am as righteous as He is. That is to Jesus’ credit, not ever to mine. It doesn’t instantly, magically, change the mess that He has to cover. (Ephesians 2:8-9)
Being covered by Jesus does not make me any better than anyone else. It does give me reason to move closer to His plan for my life, however. I love Him, so I want to please Him and become more like Him each day. (1 John 2:5-6) I want to point others to Him, so I don’t want my flaws to be a distraction. I hate when that happens. When I realize that it’s happened (again!), I want to reverse course and try to do better next time.
My relationship with Jesus also gives me resources to move closer to the goal. I can feel Him nudging me toward His good plan, and away from the mistakes I’m making. If I ask and pay attention to the answer, He will give me the extra wisdom or courage or patience I need to follow His plan. (James 1:5)
Unfortunately, like all Christians, I won’t reach my full potential this side of Heaven. Every temptation we would face without Christ – anger, addiction, selfishness, greed, the whole catalog – is still there. And every Christian will still regularly give in to the temptations. Hopefully, not as often as we mature. But….
So, please, when making your decisions about Christianity, don’t look to the Christian, imperfect followers. Instead, look to Jesus Christ, our perfect leader. (Hebrews 12:2a)
He’s waiting to lead and help you also, any time you are willing to follow.