having committed acts that just about anyone would agree are deeply
sinful and completely contrary to what I say I believe...
... and the Christian faith is filled with the stories of other men
(and women) who also have committed egregious sins against God and
against other people... Even our modern-day news stories often cover
the sins of the faithful, and our own local churches are filled with
sinners on any given Sunday....
But consider this: When you hear the name "Babe Ruth", what do you
think of? Do you think of the 1,330 times he struck out at home plate,
or the 714 homers that gave rise to his status as an all-time great?
What about "Thomas Edison"? Do you think of (or even know about) the
10,000 times he tried to create the world's first incandescent light bulb
and failed (securing ridicule from just about everyone who knew him),
or do you think of the one success he had that revolutionized the world,
or the more than 1,000 U.S. Patents he was awarded in his lifetime?
Now think of yourself: Do you DEFINE yourself by your failures, even
horrible failures of the worst kinds of sins? Well, remember the
Bible stories: Adam and Eve brought Sin and Death into the world
through their disobedience, and later raised a murderous son...
David was called "a man after God's own heart" and yet he committed
adultery and murder; Peter denied Christ with curses, and yet was told
later that Christ's Church would begin with him... The list of
horrible sins by the Bible's "all-time greats" goes on and on...
And it's the same story for us:
Imagine yourself in your very best moments... You're humble, gentle,
congenial, giving, wise, and displaying a Joy that stems from your
faith and from the use of your unique skills and talents and abilities...
In those fleeting moments (fleeting for me, anyway) you are beginning
to be the kind of person GOD sees when He looks at you; and the utlimate
Perfection (Maturation) of all that God put in you when He made you
is a reality so significant, so beautiful, so glorious (and glorifying
to your Maker) that He went as far as He could go, did everything He
could possibly do, to try and make that goal a reality, by sacrificing
the One Most Important Thing for you... Jesus accepted Death so that
we could someday enjoy that Life, the perfection of our very selves...
The perfected creature enternally showered with affection from the
Creator, blissfully joyful in giving back to the Creator the honor
THAT "Vision" of What I Will Be, someday, is what God sees when He looks
at me, and though His heart is broken and His anger aroused over my
sin (rebellion against that Vision He paid so much to win for me),
His gaze is fixed on that Vision and He pursues me relentlessly...
So the only thing I can do is to begin again, to ask God (and others,
if necessary, and it often is) for forgiveness, to deal honestly and
practically with my sin (we lie to ourselves so easily, and excuse-making
is, for some of us, a habit), and to see myself as GOD sees me...
- Let us not become weary in doing good,
for at the proper time, we will reap harvest,
if we do not give up.