So, after my last blog, I had some interesting conversations with some people and decided that I wanted to further explain something, that something being the idea of fallibility. Though seminary has increased my study of theology, I am not aptly practiced in the art of discussing it, so bear with me. Fallibility in the simplest sense that I can describe is that we are capable of fault. This capability exists, because it exists, we know that perfection can never be completely achievable on our own merit. We could talk about whether this existence is good or bad, but I would rather say that its existence is neutral, it just is. The same principle with people. I don’t believe in good or bad people, I believe people can do good or evil. The potential for both is always there, some people may be more inclined to leaning one way or another, most likely from the repetition of action one way or another, but their personhood is unaffected by this tendency. So, what does this mean to me? Well, there is the good and the bad of it. The “bad” of fallibility means to me that I will never be perfect and there’s nothing that I can do about it. Let me emphasize the particular of that statement: there’s nothing that “I” can do. This is where the good comes in, and by good, I mean the goodness of God. Through my fallibility God has the opportunity to show His power, mercy, and grace through my imperfections and that’s amazing! Even in the pursuit of my own sanctification, it is not me becoming holy, but me accepting the holiness of God in my life so completely that I am absorbed into it; His holiness, love, and presence is within me, surrounds me, and flows away from me towards others. And this happens despite, maybe even because I am not perfect, for if I were perfect, what need would I have of seeking God and His perfectness?
So, in practical terms, this is why I always want to believe in the best of people, including myself, and yet, I always know that we fail, we struggle, we stumble. As someone who’s fully aware of his own faults and imperfections, it’s easy to show the mercy, love, and grace that God has so abundantly given to me. These qualities are not mine, so they are not mine to keep, but for me to share with others, because that’s what I believe He would want me to do. I often say, “people are people” and perhaps you’ve heard me say this to cover a variety of things that people do or are, but the statement rings true. We are people, created by God in His image and that means something pretty special, but we are also a fallen race, selfish in our initial desires until we learn and until we allow God to transform us into something less than ourselves and more of Him. This transformation ironically begins to inform us of who we really are, or rather, who we are meant to be as redeemed sons and daughters of God. Only when we deny ourselves, including our want to be perfect on our own terms, do we begin to discover the true depths of our own character and person. Only when we can acknowledge our fallibility, our uselessness without God, only then can we discover what we’re truly capable of in accomplishing His will.