One of the shows we like to watch as a family is “Nailed It”. The show brings on people who barely cook and has them try to replicate a master chef’s creations in small amounts of time. The failures keep us and the judges laughing while the contestants take it in stride. I’m not sure what it is, but there’s something in all of us that somehow gets joy when others fail. Whether it’s someone at the office, a sports team that’s doing well or a well known leader. I’ve read several articles about the psychology behind it, but no one can nail it down as to why. Ultimately, it either means we get ahead or they were not as great as we made them out to be and it makes us feel good about our own shortcomings.
In John 8, a group of religious leaders were trying to make Jesus fail while exposing a woman’s failure. They brought her into the temple getting everyone’s attention and took her straight to Jesus. They reminded Him that the Law of Moses said that they should stone this woman for adultery. With stones in their hands, they asked Him what He thought. Instead of jumping in with the rest of the crowd being excited about taking down this woman who had failed, Jesus simply started writing in the dirt. They demanded He answer. They were ready to kill her. Jesus stood up in verse 7 and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” (NLT) One by one, they dropped their stones as Jesus went back to writing in the dirt. The on,y one who had the ability to throw the stone, didn’t.
Instead of throwing stones and making fun of people who have failed, we should help them find forgiveness. Instead of laughing that they got caught and were exposed, think about how you would feel if your private sins were exposed in such a manner. Galatians 6:1 tells us, “Dear brothers and sisters, if another believer is overcome by some sin, you who are godly should gently and humbly help that person back onto the right path. And be careful not to fall into the same temptation yourself.” Instead of trying to make them feel worse or to push them further away from God, we have a responsibility to help them the way Jesus helped this woman. All of us have sinned and fall short. None of us deserve grace, yet Jesus set the example we should follow by giving it. We’re in the restoration business as Christians. Let’s act like it.
Photo by Sean Stratton on Unsplash
As a kid, King David was my favorite person in the Bible. I heard the story of how he faced a giant when everyone else was afraid. I heard how courageous he was when he fought in battles. I learned that he had one of the greatest friendships in the Bible. He was presented to me as a model person. After all, he was a man after God’s own heart. With all these stories and Bible lessons, I had built up quite the person in my head. He was pretty much the closest thing to a superhero in the Bible.
As I grew older, I learned more about David. I read about his indiscretion with Bathsheba. I found out that he was a murderer. And when I read the Psalms, I see a man who has great faith one minute and great doubt the next. I read about the warrior who isn’t afraid of anything and then hear the same man whine as he hides in a cave. The superhero image took a hit. I found out that he wasn’t perfect. He wasn’t the person I had made him out yo be in my mind. Yet I can’t escape that he was still called a an after God’s own heart.
Many times, we build up people in our mind and place them on superhero status. We think they’re perfect because that’s all we see of them. Sometimes it’s people in the Bible that we see this way. Other times it can be a pastor, evangelist, a church leader or a friend. The truth is that no one is perfect. Each person has shortcomings and fail. We are all a lot like David. We possess the ability to slay giants, but we also struggle with our fears and doubts. We climb mountain tops one day and wallow in the valley the next.
What I’ve learned to see in David, in others and in myself is that God doesn’t expect me to be perfect in order to be a person after His heart. He doesn’t need us to slay giants or conquer enemies to be considered great. What I find over and over again in David’s writings is that after every time he failed, doubted or was scared, he went back to God, apologized and reaffirmed his faith. Psalm 51 is one of the greatest Psalms to me. It’s a prayer for forgiveness and restoration. David shows just how human he was as he wrote it. He also revealed why he was a man after God’s heart.
We can’t get caught up in thinking there are perfect people in the world or that living as close to perfect as possible equals spiritual greatness. We all look at the outward showing of people, but only God sees the heart. David was no where near perfect as I’ve come to read, but he was one of the most spiritual people who ever lived. It’s not in our outward showing that makes us spiritual, it’s in our ability to run to God when we have failed, when we have sinned or have great doubts. Don’t compare your spirituality with someone else’s. You can’t see what God sees. Instead, focus on keeping your heart right with Him no matter what life throws at you.