There might be times when everything we do seems to go wrong, we keep failing, or no matter how hard we try to improve something, we just stay in the same place. In those times, it’s easy to get discouraged and start putting ourselves down by saying or thinking things like, ‘I’m hopeless,’ ‘I’m no good,’ ‘What’s the point in trying? I never get anywhere.’ But the problem with this sort of thinking, aside from the fact that it’s absolutely not how God sees us, is that it keeps us focusing on our imperfections rather than all the things we’re good at and all the great qualities we possess. Everyone has aspects of themselves they’d like to improve, but we’re all works in progress, and change takes time. But how does God see us? The Bible says, ‘He forever made perfect those who are being made holy.’ Max Lucado wrote: ‘Underline the word perfect. Note, the word isn’t better. Not improving. Not on the upswing. God doesn’t improve; He perfects. He doesn’t enhance, He completes…I realise there’s a sense in which we’re imperfect. We still err. We still stumble. We still do exactly what we don’t want to do…that part of us is “being made holy”. But when it comes to our position before God, we’re perfect. When He sees each of us [who have placed our trust in Christ to save us], He sees someone who has been made perfect through the One who is perfect – Jesus Christ.’ We should continue to work on improving ourselves, but we should also be sympathetic to ourselves too; and that might mean stopping often to remember that we’re ‘being made new and are becoming like the One who made you’ (Colossians 3:10 NCV).