Normally, I do not do political posts, but the last year of so, I have been watching the political climate and reactions thereof. What I have found is quite disturbing.
What happens when one politician disagrees with another? They call each other names.
What happens when one politician wants their agenda to pass but someone else’s to lose? They create sympathetic stories for their specific view.
What happens when a bunch of politicians get together to question someone who has been selected for a specific position? The politicians require perfection throughout life.
Perfection. It’s a crazy word. We use it when we call someone a “perfectionist”, someone who needs to have everything in order perfectly, in their eyes, otherwise they cannot proceed. Perfection, however, goes way beyond our culture of needing our books alphabetized on our shelves, or our knick-knacks perfectly lined up on the window sill. Perfection is something we, as human beings can never achieve.
Perfection can be defined as:
- A condition, state or quality of being free or as free as possible from all flaws or defects.
- Completely and totally flawless, without blemish
Here’s a question we should all ask ourselves in the mirror at night… did I live a perfect life today?
I know I didn’t. When I get cut off on the highway, my mind and sometimes my mouth exude “words of encouragement” – NOT! Sometimes, when my kids say or do the wrong things and I overreact to their actions or words, I remain imperfect.
Over the last few weeks, and more so today, we are seeing, before our very eyes, the hacking of political chaos. When one side does not want a nominee, for whatever their reasoning, they require total lifetime perfection.
It is very unfortunate that we, as a country, have stooped to the level of requiring perfection from all that we disagree with, meanwhile, we do not require perfection from ourselves. No longer can someone make mistakes, if they don’t think like the majority. No longer can actions be problematic, if they don’t agree with the news agencies. No longer can our words be honest, in love, without the repercussion of persecution and name calling. It is very unfortunate, but there is someone who does not require perfection.
Long ago, a carpenter left his family business and began to recruit people to be his students. First, he chose someone who was a political thief. He picked someone who stole from his own people in order to make himself wealthy all the while paying the government only what they required. He also chose a fisherman who had a way of not keeping his mouth and sometimes his actions unfiltered. He chose two brothers who always fought and had anger management issues. A prostitute followed him. A woman who couldn’t hold a relationship together followed him. In fact, he also chose a banker who would eventually betray him.
In the same light, this same man was rejected by the political leaders of is day. They felt that their motives, their actions and their agendas were perfect and if he wouldn’t follow their ways, he couldn’t be perfect either. The problem was this man was perfect. The only one who ever was and the only one who will ever be. Yet in spite of his perfection, he does not require perfection from us.
This man is Jesus. He died so that we may live. He is perfect. We are not. He chose imperfect people to accomplish His will in this world. This is the beauty of the Gospel. Jesus does not require our perfection, but He requires our obedience to Him. Part of being obedient to Him is to forgive others who have wronged us. It is not about not suffering the consequences to their actions, it’s about the position of being human beings, made in the image of God, in need of a Savior. Forgiveness heals both the offender as well as the victim. It allows us to free our minds and hearts to give that person another chance.
When Jesus was asked about how many times to forgive someone, here is what He said…
“I tell you, not seven times, but seventy times seven.”
Now that’s an odd way of answering a question but there was a reason why Jesus said it this way. In biblical times, it was thought that if you forgave someone seven times, you were considered above reproach. It was also understood that if that person wronged you an eighth time, they no longer were worthy of your forgiveness. What Jesus was communicating was not to forgive a specific number of times, but to forgive unconditionally. This means that as those who wrong us over and over again, we should forgive them over and over again. When we do this one of three things will happen.
First, they’ll keep wronging us, we’ll keep forgiving but at some point, the relationship will fade and the two will part ways.
Second, the person wronging you will get tired of your forgiveness and will leave because their wrong will appear to have no effect on you.
Third, the person who is wronging you will stop out of guilt and will change their ways and wrong you no more.
We all want the third option, but the first two are realities as well.
Today, we are watching as Judge Kavanaugh and Dr. Ford go before the Senate Committee to testify about Judge Kavanaugh’s actions back in High School and College. We are watching the deformation of character from both sides, but we are not seeing acts of forgiveness.
At the same time, this should be a warning for us as well. The sin we act upon in private, in our past, will one day surface to the top of our public lives. Should Judge Kavanaugh or Dr. Ford done the sinful things they both did in their former days? No. I feel for Dr. Ford. But I also feel for Judge Kavanaugh. Both are now suffering from their prior actions. Both are trying to save their professional and personal lives by accusing and denying their actions. The question in my mind is not whether they did those things or not. The question in my mind is, “What about all of our public figures? What is in their past that is questionable or rebellious that would disqualify them from their office?”
I am confident that if we were to use the same rule of judgement as we are seeing in today’s hearings, almost all of our current politicians would be disqualified from their office. I am also confident that if our leaders were to begin showing acts of forgiveness, our country would be greater than it has ever been.
When we require perfection, we abandon forgiveness. When we require forgiveness, we accept imperfection and embrace our commonalities rather than our criminalities. Our country needs to be forgiven and needs to show forgiveness.
“But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8 (NASB)
We NEED to turn back to God. We NEED to forgive others. We NEED to look hard in the mirror and ask ourselves, “Was I perfect today?” And if, like me, you can answer, “Not perfect”, then we have the opportunity to ask God for forgiveness. And guess what…. He will.
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” – 1 John 1:9 (NASB)
God is ready to forgive us. We just need to admit our wrongs to Him. Once we do that, He will give us what we need to forgive others.
If you and I have been forgiven by God for all that we have done, then why can’t we show that same forgiveness to others?
No one is perfect. No one ever will be. Let’s begin the healing process by first asking for forgiveness, then giving forgiveness to others. God bless and let’s forgive someone today.