Sunday, November 11, 2007

Stupidity is not a sin

"How could I be so stupid?" "I must look like a complete idiot!" "They must think I'm a real basket case!"

Even the best of us think thoughts like that sometimes. It's painful to realize that we are often unwise and often mistaken. Even when it is impossible for anyone to foresee the consequences of an action, we still expect to get it right and come out on top, smelling like roses. When we don't, we are ashamed. When push comes to shove, looking good often seems more important to us than being good.

In God's economy of grace, mistakes are accepted, along with the people who make them. We read in the Bible that Jesus was like us in every way, except that He was without sin. We are inclined to visualize Him as someone who floated through life with few everyday struggles -- someone who never put a piece of furniture together backwards, never wet his pants, never forgot his mother's birthday. The way I see it, his advantage was not one of superior performance, but the fact that he knew without a doubt that his heavenly Father accepted Him in His fallibility.

To God, the wisdom of a decision is less important than the love with which it is made. If I make an unwise decision out of love, God can draw something unexpectedly beautiful from it. Just as my gifts are judged not by size, but by love, so is my performance. If I could know everything, control everything, and do everything perfectly, I wouldn't need God or anyone else. I would be God.

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