Warts and All

January 19, 2009

“For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” – Romans 3:23

Historians, gossip magazines, and the media are now beginning to highlight Martin Luther King’s many flaws, weaknesses, and sins. And you know what? I’m glad.

Children read history that describes many of our heroes as perfect idols. Washington and the cherry tree. Lincoln freeing the slaves. Roosevelt ending the Depression. No flaws. And then our young people contemplate their role in our society and think, “I have so many weaknesses, so many flaws. I could never have a life of impact for good.”

Wrong message. All the great figures in our history had flaws, weaknesses, and handicaps. And yes, even Martin Luther King had some deep flaws and committed many sins. And for these, we hope he dealt with God. But despite those sins, despite his weaknesses, King led a peaceful social revolution that brought dramatic, desperately needed change to our world.

One of the great things about the Bible is, it is so honest about the heroes of the faith – Noah getting drunk, Abraham and Sarah not waiting on God to have His promised child, Jacob’s lies, David’s adultery – yet all these men were used by God in an incredible way.

All of us have weaknesses. All of us are guilty of sin we regret, yet God’s grace is available to all, when we seek His forgiveness in Christ. God can use any life for good, no matter how flawed, if we trust in the only One who had no flaws – His Son, Jesus Christ.