“But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing”
The idea of “complete” is sound in every part. “Complete” comes from two words: whole and portions. A mature person has all the portions in place. The person who reaches this level of maturity does not leave any spiritual development wanting. There is no unsound spiritual dimension to his or her life. This is the consummate spiritual believer, a well-rounded and sound Christian.
“Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; and may your whole spirit, soul, and body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it” (1 Thessalonians 5:23-24).
Deuteronomy uses the word “complete” of “whole stones” that were not hewed or polished. They were complete because they lost nothing and maintained their originality.
“You shall build with whole stones the altar of the LORD your God, and offer burnt offerings on it to the Lord your God” (Deuteronomy 27:6).
“Lacking” signifies to forsake, leave, lag behind, be left destitute, fall short. This believer does not leave any obligations to God. His spiritual development lacks no shortcomings. Nothing of spiritual significance lacks in the mature believer. Mature believers leave immature believers behind.
Each decision to persevere builds a stronger platform for further growth.
Some Christians give up before perseverance by faith gets a chance to go full-term in developing them. They never become all that God wants them to be. They cave in before God’s trial can teach them what He wants them to know. They leave the race before they cross the finish line because the pain was too great. We gauge things by pleasure rather than by what is best for us. Those who squirm out of their problems miss the opportunity to mature by faith.
Determination to persevere through pain and problems is not fatalism or resignation. Despair is not a quality of biblical character. Perseverance by faith in God’s plan for our lives directs our human nature, not stuffs it.
Perseverance by faith in God’s plan allows us to bear anything that may come our way so that we can make effective use of our problems. Each act of resistance results in stronger character and competence. Each victory of faith builds a stronger platform for further future success. Every act of faith we exercise, we either build a stronger base for maturity, or we weaken that base. At any point in time, we are either fit or unfit for God’s plan for our lives.
God wants us to get our Ph.D. in Christian maturity. Many of us drop out in grade school. Those who keep on keeping on will get their SmD, their doctoral degree in spiritual maturity.