My church just had its annual Man Night. Quite a production with campfires, bacon snacks, brownies and milk, film clips . . . you know, real guy stuff. At the end of the main talk, 6 truths about identity were put up on the screen along with this question, “Which of these do you struggle to accept and believe about yourself?”
Here are the 6 . . .
- I am forgiven
- I am not alone
- I am chosen
- I am complete in Christ
- I am significant
- I am loved
Now I’ve been walking with God for a long time so I assumed nothing they could throw up there would trip me up. But my eyes locked on this one . . .
I am complete in Christ
Do I really believe that? Isn’t that arrogant? What happened to “I’m a work in progress”? What about sanctification? Growing in holiness? If I start believing I’m complete, won’t I get lazy?
This ‘big idea’ of being complete comes from Colossians 2:10 where Paul writes, “you have been made complete in Christ.” Another translation says, “in Christ, you have been brought to fullness.” Through Jesus, I am complete. That means full. You can’t be more complete than complete. More full than full.
If I think ‘spiritual’ things like church work, giving, reading, writing, speaking, or mentoring are about trying to become complete, I’m wasting time and insulting the Father by discrediting His work of amazing grace.
My identity says I am complete in Him . . . that’s who I am. But I want to mature in my faith . . . to become more like who He is. I’m more likely to do that in community with other Jesus-following men. I want to know and understand the Bible and apply it to my everyday life in a meaningful way. I want to grow in personal holiness . . . being honest, bouncing my eyes, avoiding temptation. I’m learning to walk intimately with the Father by praying without ceasing, praising Him and thanking Him throughout my days. And I want to bring Him glory by loving my wife, my kids and every other person with the love of Jesus. We never get better at this stuff flying solo. We need the love and eyeballs of other trustworthy guys we invite into our dark corners.
So here’s my net-out. Believing “I am complete in Christ” means shutting down any doubt about my salvation or my status as an adopted son of the King of Kings. It means cranking up my efforts to grow in my faith, but not being duped into believing I have to perform for my faith. Out of gratitude for His love and for making me complete, I choose to pursue spiritual growth and Christian service.
Scripture: For in Christ all the fullness of the Deity dwells in bodily form. And you have been made complete in Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority. (Colossians 2:9-10)
Mentor Tip: You’ll probably have guys come into your group looking to progress toward ‘Christian Eagle Scout’ or at least to get Christian merit badges. Help them understand the truth of their completeness in Him so they can focus on engaging with God’s overwhelming love and living in gratitude for what He’s done for them.