MONDAY, MARCH 7, 2011 "These things happened...as examples." 1Co 10:11 NKJV A pastor was building a fence while the neighbor's twelve-year-old son watched. The pastor smiled and said, "Interested in carpentry, huh?" "Nope," the boy replied. "Just want to hear what a preacher says when he hits his thumb with a hammer!" You are the only Bible some people will ever read, and they're watching to see how your life lines up with what you profess. Some are hoping for confirmation of the life-changing power of Jesus, others for a chance to say, "See, Christians are all hypocrites!" We want to set a good example, but sometimes we fall short. And as humbling as it is to mess up, God uses those failures to "[make] it clear that our...power is from [Him], not...ourselves" (2Co 4:7 NLT). God doesn't glaze over the shortcomings of even the most notable saints. They're "all...written down so...we don't repeat their mistakes" (1Co 10:11 TM). Abraham, the "friend of God," lied about Sarah being his wife (See Ge 12:10-20). Moses, the mighty leader, got angry and disobeyed God. David, a man after God's heart, committed adultery then tried to cover his tracks with murder (See 2Sa 11:15). Peter, head of the church, denied Jesus not once but three times (See Lk 22:54-62), and John Mark gave up and went home during a missionary trip (See Ac 15:38). They're all in there, warts and all, and Paul says, "We are just as capable of messing...up as they were" (1Co 10:12 TM). So don't get discouraged when you stumble. Admit your mistake, apologize to the people involved, ask God for forgiveness, forgive yourself, learn from what happened, and move on.
Published on Monday, March 7, 2011 @ 6:58 AM CDT