Imperfect instruments - Hope 103.2

Imperfect instruments

By David ReayWednesday 3 Dec 2014LifeWords DevotionalsFaithReading Time: 0 minutes


Read Psalm 51:15-17

15     O Lord,open my lips,
             and my mouth will declare your praise.
16     For you have no delight in sacrifice;
             if I were to give a burnt offering,you would not be pleased.
17     The sacrifice acceptable to God is a broken spirit;
             a broken and contrite heart,O God,you will not despise. (NRSV)

The first thing we need to understand about these words is that they were written by one who was an adulterer and one who was complicit in deceit and murder. And yet they are fine words proclaiming God’s truth.

Why is this important to grasp? Simply because there are some who question the messages of some Christians because of their demonstrated fallibility. “Didn’t you know that the person you referred to had left his wife?”,”Were you not aware that the author of that book has a notoriously bad temper?”,”How can we trust what that preacher says given he dabbles in pornography?”

All such people have real ethical problems and there is no room for complacency about them. But none of those things (or many others beside) invalidate the message they bring. Every Christian message we hear comes via the mind and heart and mouth of an imperfect and struggling individual. Assuming such an individual is wrestling before God with their issue then we can safely trust their message.

Waiting for the perfect person to convey God’s mind to us is to wait forever. As St Ignatius said,God uses crooked sticks to draw straight lines.

David Reay