Our Responsibility to Grow
We live in a culture that is teaching blanket-statement tolerance — as long as you love and embrace it, so will we. Anything goes. And while having tolerance for some things is a considered a virtue, tolerance for others is simply foolishness. When tolerance isn't checked by a thoughtful questioning, that's when it becomes dangerous.
This is why our culture is unraveling (morally, physically, spiritually, emotionally...) — because few are willing to tell the truth about our issues and advocate for change. The truth is, if we actually love the people in our lives, we'll encourage them through the process of growing. On the flip side, (and this is super important) we won't get offended when people point out our own issues either. Instead of blanket-statement tolerance, let's build a community of growth and betterment. Not of constant criticism, mind you, but of constant encouragement and love. When you're surrounded by a body of people who are all looking to steadily grow into a better version of themselves, you'd be surprised at your own desire to do the same. Iron sharpens iron.
Here's why I'm really passionate about this — you are made in the image of God. Wow! Have you let that sink in? Now, imagine what God's thinking when you blatantly embrace your weaknesses, your flaws and your bad habits and expect others to love you for it. What a slap in His face. I can't stand hearing the excuse, "It's just who I am - get used to it." to justify a bad habit or poor character. No! That's not who you are. Declaring that is just who you are is declaring God made you incapable of changing and growing.
He has transformed our hearts and the ripple effect doesn't stop extending to every area of our lives.
We should strive to be excellent at whatever task He sets before us, to take care of our bodies, to surrender our bad habits for wholesome ones, to look to Scripture for wisdom (even if it's odd in the world's eyes) in our life choices. We shouldn't do these things to look more like Christ but rather, BECAUSE we look more like Christ as we are being sanctified daily. It's a natural reaction to His grace on our lives.
We all have weaknesses, flaws and bad habits (I'll be the first to raise my hand high!) and we won't every be entirely rid of such things until we are glorified with Him BUT that doesn't excuse us from trying. The encouraging part is, we're not alone in the journey. God will give us the strength to overcome the difficulties if we continue to seek Him and let Him work in and through us and He's given us communities of believers to walk with us in this journey.