I’m going out on a limb today with this post, because I want to address something that seems obvious but complicated.
No one is perfect. We’re all cracked pots.
Oh, if Patsy Clairmont would just chime in right here, we could have some comic relief, but I have the feeling few will be laughing by the end of this, because our culture today has lost two precious things:
Our sense of humor and grace.
Taking ourselves much too seriously is a sure sign that our relationship with God is off-track or non-existent, because only when I’m assured of his love for me, and rest in his forgiveness, am I comfortable in acknowledging that I’m not perfect–in fact, I am very confident that I’m far from it. Only in Christ, can I stand up proudly and say: I’m just a cracked pot, saved by his grace.
When I accept that I’m fallible and prone to sin, then I can have the grace to accept others when they slip and fall.
That doesn’t mean that I condone my failings or sins, or those of others, but I acknowledge that “all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God.” We all need to fall on the mercies of God, who sacrificed his own Son, that we might find forgiveness of sins.
There’s one thing I love about the Word of God: He doesn’t use perfect people for his purposes.
- Abraham told Pharaoh Sarah was his sister to save his skin.
- Joseph boasted to his brothers by sharing his dreams.
- Moses got angry at the Israelites and hit a rock.
- David had Bathsheba’s husband killed to take her as his wife.
- Solomon married A LOT of women, and had A LOT of others on the side.
- Peter denied Jesus three times.
- John Mark deserted Paul and Barnabas.
- Paul and Barnabas disagreed to the point they split up.
Did God erase their stories? Did he deny them a place in history?
No, he showed us through their lives that he will use us despite our mistakes, our blatant sins, our weaknesses, because he provides space for us to find forgiveness and restoration. Not every story ends well, because many, like David and Solomon, had to face the consequences of their sin, but just because they didn’t end well, doesn’t mean God didn’t use them at any point in their life.
I’m not going to address this from the perspective of nonbelievers, because we know why they cancel people, history, and anything else that doesn’t fit in their self-centered narrative. I am going, however, to address this as a Christ follower, because it’s still not easy.
What do I do with the fact that someone I admired in Christian circles has disappointed me because of sin?
Without condoning the sin, I acknowledge the fact that God has used them for the work of his kingdom. While sin has tainted their witness to the world, it doesn’t negate the fact that people came to the Lord or grew in Christ through their work or words.
I have to look myself in the mirror and see the plank in my eye before condemning another.
What did Jesus say? “He who is without sin, cast the first stone.”
He didn’t tell the woman she was without fault, no, he told her “go and sin no more.” I want my brother or sister to repent and find forgiveness, so that their story may end well, and that requires me giving them margin to return to Christ. When I jump on them as the Pharisees did that woman, in legalistic judgment, no one can pick up the pieces.
Sometimes I think how much better the Church would be today if we didn’t have so many sinful Christians in our ranks, but then, I also realize that when we acknowledge the cracks in each of us, we’re so much better able to see God’s grace stream through. Satan wants nothing more than for us to smash each other to smithereens, but Jesus says, stop casting stones and instead practice grace.
What’s grace look like? For me, it’s just what the acronym spells out: God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense.
Instead of canceling and smashing a person’s reputation, that is already torn through sin, I am praying for God to help me lead them by the hand back to Him who has paid the price in full and longs to make them whole again. Yes, they might have yet another crack in their pot, but when healed through repentance and forgiveness it’s just wide enough for his light to shine through.
Mad at the failings of those you respected? Ask God to help you find space for Grace…