I find it surprising how many followers of Jesus beat themselves up because they constantly get it wrong. The problem is that a commitment to Jesus does not mean that He waves a magic wand and tout à coup (as the French say) we become stunningly perfect human beings. If only.
I don’t know about the rest of God’s family, but I do not start the day planning not to be perfect. The truth is I generally don’t even think about it, which is a challenge for me in what I say to God at the beginning of each day. Of course, we all have days when we conveniently forget to say anything to God, glance at His word, or even consider His input as we blunder on oblivious to how it could be and how it should be. If we were attending the ‘Following Jesus Academy’ I am pretty certain none of us would have made it out of the reception class. Most of us are a bunch of four year olds when it comes to our faith. The only degrees we have are in stupidity, and our faith is a long way off mustard seed proportions.
Fortunately we are not alone. Scripture records details of many people we regard as giants of faith who sometimes behaved like idiots. Let’s start with Adam. All Adam had to do was keep his mitts off one little tree and its fruit. Even when God caught him practically red-handed he blamed Eve/God: “Sorry God but it’s Your fault – it was the woman You gave me that caused this!” Feeble. Then there was Adam’s offspring. Cain must have known not to mess with God, but not only did Cain bring an unacceptable sacrifice, he then went on to murder his brother. Did Cain think that God wasn’t watching?
What about Moses? He also thought he could get away with killing a man. How did he react when found out? A bit like a child caught with his hand in the biscuit (cookie) tin; Moses ran away. Sadly Moses wasn’t a fast learner. Come the day of the burning bush Moses was somewhat slow at agreeing to do what he was being asked to do. All this after a forty-year exercise in patience and trust working as a shepherd, which was a bit of a come-down for a man who spent the first forty years of his life living in a palace.
We’ve all been with stupid. The list of stupid in the Bible is huge. There are small shortcomings and massive shortcomings (think David and Bathsheba). But the one thing we also need to observe in all of these stupid people is their faith. We need faith like theirs. We also need to learn from their ability to say sorry (when they do) and thereafter get on with the job in hand. They often fall over again, just like us. I’m not that happy being an idiot, but I’ll settle for being an idiot for God.
Stop deceiving yourselves. If you think you are wise by this world’s standards, you need to become a fool to be truly wise. For the wisdom of this world is foolishness to God. As the Scriptures say,
“He traps the wise in the snare of their own cleverness.” And again, “The Lord knows the thoughts of the wise; He knows they are worthless.” (1 Corinthians 3:18-20 NLT)