We are inundated with the improvement mentality…. clean up and fix up. Our fascination is evidenced by the numerous TV shows addressing this issue. Whether a house or a wardrobe, at the end of the show’s hour, a dramatic transformation occurs. Although the changes are impressive, I believe these shows can foster a lack of contentment in our own lives. When we focus on what needs repaired, we may subtly become dissatisfied with ourselves, our lives and the people nearest to us. How easy it is to point out areas for renovation in others using our words to chisel away at another’s rough spots. Not intending to, we can even plaster over our own hearts. Since there is always one more thing to improve, it is a never ending process. Perhaps, we may even start thinking that God cannot be pleased with us or love us until we are completely repaired.
Another problem may arise if we focus too much on external improvements and neglect matters of the heart. Like the Pharisees, who Jesus rebuked, we can appear like a whitewashed tomb, clean on the outside but lifeless inside. If we decide to begin an improvement project, Peter describes the correct emphasis, “Your beauty should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gently and quiet sprit which is of great worth in God’s sight.” (1 Peter 3:4)
Although our sanctification will not be complete at the end of an hour, God who promised to do this is faithful, He will do it. Hebrews 10:14 assures us that Jesus has made perfect forever all those who are being made holy. We can rest from our labors knowing Jesus has already done everything necessary for our transformation.