There is something that has been ruminating in my mind over the last week. It is a concept that has flitted in and out of my concienceness since I began my walk through the bible. It can be boiled down to one perplexing question. Why are so many of the people described in the bible such flawed followers? In honor of this being the 140th post I decided to follow this rabbit trail to see where it, and God, lead me.
The story of Saul’s decent into estrangement from God, and what can only be described as madness, has made me consider why God chooses leaders who are flawed. The list of flawed followers starts with Adam and Eve and includes pretty much every leader God has chosen, including the heavy hitters Noah, Moses, and Joshua, One conclusion we could reach is that all human leaders are flawed. This is pretty much the message Jesus brought. We all fall short.
So what are we to do, imperfect followers that we are? I think the answer lies in admitting that we are imperfect and allowing God to lead us despite our imperfections. In many cases God will use the blemishes in our being to accomplish great things if we allow Him to. The fundamental problem with Saul is not that he is a flawed king. God predicted that when he was chosen. His problem is that he does not allow God and the Holy Spirit to hammer out his imperfections. With each missed opportunity Saul separates himself further and further from God.
We are all flawed followers. Each of us has a unique set of flaws which we must present to God so that he can sculpt our souls into His image. Jesus was a sculptor of his disciple’s souls. From His first invitation to follow Him to His sacrifice on the cross Jesus was shaping souls. He was constantly hammering away at the flaws of people like Peter. I am reminded of one of the inspirations for this blog — the story of Jesus walking on water and inviting Peter to join him.Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. When the disciples saw him walking on the lake, they were terrified. “It’s a ghost,” they said, and cried out in fear. But Jesus immediately said to them: “Take courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” “Lord, if it’s you,” Peter replied, “tell me to come to you on the water.” “Come,” he said. Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, “Lord, save me!” Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?” And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. Then those who were in the boat worshiped him, saying, “Truly you are the Son of God.” – Matthew 14:25-33
Peter’s flaw in faith makes him unable to walk on water. Just like our flaws can prevent us from walking with God if we let them.
The answer does not lie in pretend perfection, but rather in bald-faced admission of imperfection and submission to God’s transformative hand. The only way to work out problems with our “programming” is to practice relying on God – the programmer. God wants to transform our flaws into features.
Prayer: God I confess I am a flawed follower. I give you free reign to turn my flaws into features.SDG