by Dan Amos
Saying “I will let you down” is not a statement of intent, it’s merely an acknowledgement that it happens. I often think I should warn people of this because I’ve known me for a long time and I know it’s the truth. I can get cranky and selfish. I can stick my size 11 foot in my mouth and I can make the wrong choice. What I don’t want is to have my perfect savior judged by my imperfect actions.
These thoughts are inspired by things I’ve seen on Facebook recently where I enjoy reading what is posted by our young adults. It’s not always easy because they tend to post wildly divergent thoughts in sentence-long bursts that are nearly always devoid of context. They swing from the thoughtful to the silly, to the ones that make me wince. Still, they make me think.
My niece had expressed astonishment the KKK still exists. It doesn’t surprise me because there’s so much hate in the world and sometimes it is practiced by those who claim to be Christians but who really are not. And one of our own wrote, “Everyone’s practicing the exact opposite of what they’re preaching.” I don’t know the context of what he was saying, but often it is true. If we believe in Christ and our lives are being transformed, why do we do the opposite of what we know we should?
So, outside the body of Christ there’s hate and self-centeredness. Inside the Church we follow a God who lived as a loving, selfless, serving, sinless man. When he calls us and we are made a part of his family the Bible says we are being transformed, being made new. But this doesn’t happen overnight. It’s a process that lasts as long as we remain in this life and isn’t completed until we are face-to-face with him.
We still make mistakes. Even Paul made mistakes and he was miraculously saved by Jesus on the road to Damascus and spent one-on-one, face-to-face time with the risen and glorified Lord. I’ve even thought if only I had this type of encounter I would have so much more faith, but that’s not how it works. Paul’s life was completely redirected and he still lamented that he would do the things he didn’t want to do and that he was the chief of sinners.
The point here is we don’t follow people; we can’t. We are instructed to live a life as an example to others and to learn from others’ examples. But, we follow Christ and must keep our eyes on him. On occasion we will let each other down but Christ never will. He never has and never will. Don’t give up on Jesus because of his people. Instead exercise the grace and mercy he has shown each of us and we’ll grow together—imperfectly and sometimes annoying each other—and we’ll be perfected when we all are in heaven with Jesus and without the scars of sin.