Frances Fenelon, a Frenchman who lived during the Reformation, compared Christian leaders to plateaus with gullies. Their spiritual life was inspirational—but they all had large eroded areas of sin they could not hide. He concluded this must be God’s plan—because if we saw others as perfect, we might admire them or become dependent on them. Then we would lose sight of God. Instead, when we see others as imperfect people, our hearts turn toward God.
Sinful human nature is painfully obvious whenever we look at people, even when we look at Biblical character in either the Old and New Testament. If we study their lives, we see they were not perfect. Regarding himself and others, Paul said, So then let no one boast in men . . . whether Paul or Apollos or Cephas. . . . (I Cor. 3:21a,22a ASB)
Paul referred to the wonder of God’s reality in sinful people when he wrote, But this precious treasure—this light and power that now shine within us—is held in a perishable container that is, in our weak bodies. Everyone can see that the glorious power within must be from God and is not our own. (IICor. 4:7 LB)
People are sinners with eroded areas. Only God is worthy of our complete admiration.
Originally published January 29, 1982.
7 years ago