Thursday, February 25, 2016

Failing's Not Just for Failures

    I love the characters in the Bible. They're just so... human. So real. They're not the church people we meet on Sunday or the Christian leader on TV. They're so vulnerably, painfully real. As I read through the Bible, I point at one character after another and think, "That is so me! I could have been that guy!"

    We get this idea in our heads that Christians don't fail, at least, the good ones don't. Yes, the strong Christians, the best Christians went through life systematically defeating temptation and stomping all over the devil. They prayed powerfully, preached constantly, beat temptations, conquered sin, and stormed into heaven in all their glory. Umm... not.

     Shall we start early on? Let's start with Abraham. Mighty saint. Patriarch. Father of Israel, a man of incredible faith. But c'mon, really? He lets someone else take his wife, twice? C'mon, man! This story gets me because, like me, Abraham didn't learn the first time. He made a monumental error... twice!

     Moving on- Moses. Moses was an absolutely incredible hero of the faith. Lead an entire nation for 40 years through a desert wandering, and I'll slap a blue ribbon on your chest. Again, he makes it onto the list of the faithful in Heb. 11. But we forget that we're talking about a murderer. A murderer! This guy God used so much didn't have a selfishness problem or a debilitating pride problem. He had killed someone and hid his body.

     My personal favorite, David. Let's just walk through David's biggest fall. First off, we see him watching Bathsheba bathing on the wall. I know for me, I never really put it together, but that right there is a monumental sin. David is standing on top of his palace, watching a naked woman bathe. That right there is enough for most of us to tell David he can't sit at the table with us and that he needs to find another church! But then he sends men out to get her, brings her to the palace, and sleeps with her, quite possibly against her will.

    But he's not done yet. Finding out that his sin has a cost (Bathsheba is pregnant), David then conspires to murder his loyal soldier and dutiful servant, her husband. Seriously, is it possible to get any worse than this? David has now watched a naked woman, lusted after her, committed adultery with her, and to top it off, murders her husband. And as if he hasn't left well enough alone, he then takes her into his house and marries her, as if he had never killed her own husband.

    Moving right along... Jesus's disciples. We could park here for a moment. Let's see, Peter cursing Jesus' name on the night of His death, John and James ordering fire from heaven down on a city, or Thomas doubting Jesus' rising. Matthew, the corrupt city official, or Simon, the assassin.

     My point isn't complicated. I just made a list of saints who failed, miserably. They royally screwed up. And God loved them powerfully and used them amazingly. Failing's not just for failures people; failing's for saints. Failing's for followers of Christ. We do it sometimes. We trip up and fall down, flat on our face. Most likely, none of us have murdered anyone or had our soldiers go bring an already married woman to our bed. Yet the men that did that were men God loved recklessly and affectionately.

     God's love is not based on my behavior, thank God. We can trust God with reckless confidence that His love will not lessen and will not diminish through anything.