In the gym, this person is not near as polished as some others. They have an issue occasionally indulging in the wrong foods, doing their workouts a little incorrectly, and missing some days due to misplaced priorities. But every day they enter the gym doors, they bust their butt, working as diligently as they can to better themselves. No one will mistake them for fitness models, but each week, their progress is visible for any to see.
In the church, this person doesn’t fit the profile exactly. They’re Christian, to be sure, but they’re still rough around the edges. Occasionally, they slip and fall back into sin. They’re knowledge of Biblical stories is limited at best, but their hearts thirst for God. They’re works in progress. They are changed lives that continue changing each day, developing a heart of Christ.
They can be encouraged – and must be – by believers further along the journey than they are. Paul wrote:
And I am sure that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on that day when Christ Jesus comes back again. Philippians 1:6 (NLT)
Paul encouraged those in process. We should do the same. And as we do, perhaps we’d be honest long enough to admit that we’re all still works in progress.