In many ways, ambition can be spiritually crippling because it leads us to destroy whoever gets in our way. Yet, the spiritual principle of aspiring for that which is better is certainly admirable.
Anyone who endeavors to succeed in any field can do so by studying the best. We should always strive to move upward, never being satisfied.
God requires the same mindset of his children. He calls us to the loftiest of standards.
“Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect” (Matthew 548, NKJV).
At first glance, this appears to be absurd and goes far beyond a running back modeling themselves after Emmitt Smith.
Only God is perfect (Psalm 18:30; 1 John 1:5). We’ve all sinned (Romans 3:23; Ecclesiastes 7:20), and if we say otherwise, we’re a liar (1 John 1:8-10).
So why would God ask us to do the impossible? It’s a principle of excellence that’s at stake. But more than that, how can a perfect God ask any less of us?
“Always compare yourself to the best. Even if you never measure up, it can’t help but make you better.” (Tom Robbins).
The principle in Matthew 5:48 is to establish a standard, which is Christ (John 14:6).
“A contradiction? No, only a paradox. The goal or ideal is necessary that man may continually know that he is unworthy of salvation, that he can never in a million years merit it, and that any real perfection he might eventually attain must be the free gift of Christ” (Burton Coffman).
God doesn’t expect sinless perfection but he can’t possibly ask us to aspire for anything less. We’re a part of the perfection when we’re added to Christ (Acts 2:47) and we walk in his light (1 John 1:7).
To lower ourselves to the gutter while holding Christ’s hand is to shame his cause.
At every moment, we should rise to the highest levels available to us. In Christ’s grace, we’re better than we can ever be on our own.
Rise above each and every day.