04 April, 2007

When You've Blown It With God (Part 1)

There’s a story that has circulated in leadership circles for a number of years that I’d like to share with you.

IMB hired a fresh, young face for a special marketing campaign for one of its products. The new guy zealously pursued his idea, but in the end it completely flopped. The company lost millions of dollars.
When the CEO called him into his office the dejected young man knew what was coming. He entered his boss’s office, head hung low, and solemnly announced that he’d pack up his stuff from the office and leave quietly.
The CEO said, “Why?”
The young man answered, “I just assumed you were going to fire me.”
“Fire you?!” the boss said, “I just spent 10 million dollars on your mistake. That’s a 10 million dollar lesson. Do you think I’m going to fire someone with that kind of training?”

There’s a case where a blunder actually made somebody better.

Do you think that young man became a more devoted, more deliberate, more humble employee? I think so.
Do you think he ever repeated that mistake again?
Maybe, but not likely.

Now let me ask you: Are there sins in your life that you think disqualify you before God?

I’m not talking about your salvation. Perhaps you’re someone who knows God loves you. You’ve made a faith commitment to Jesus Christ, but you feel like you’re probably on the B-team or C-team.
Maybe you feel like your life is just not all that important when it comes to God’s will in human history because there are certain sins you’ve committed and there are areas that you’ve failed in.
You’re probably failing in them now.
You have certain shortcomings.
You’ve blown it with God somehow and you feel disqualified, not rejected from eternity, but disqualified in this life.

Anybody feel like that?

Here’s the good news for the day.

Those sins, failures and shortcomings that you thought disqualified you can actually qualify you for something better than you ever imagined. Through Christ, blunders can make you better.

If any man had a reason to be disqualified before God it was Simon Peter.
Jesus called him by name and said, “Follow me and I will make you a fisher of men.”
Can you imagine that?
The Lord tells you that the reason you were created was to save people, to call them to faith and eternal life, to lead them into real life and out of bondage to sin.
That was essentially Jesus’ call to Peter,… to lead His Church which would become the hope of the world.

Peter did a pretty good job demonstrating his loyalty to Christ and his leadership … until the night Jesus was arrested.
Rather than stick up for his best friend and the Lord of his life, Peter denied that he knew Him three times, once even invoking curse words to confirm what he was saying was true.

If you think about it, what Peter did wasn’t far removed from Judas’ betrayal.
Judas just happened to receive money for it, which he later returned.
But for all their similarities, their outcomes were strikingly different.
Judas hanged himself.
Peter went on to become an incredible leader, the Rock, the kind of solid shepherd Jesus predicted he would be.

How’d that happen?
Through Christ, blunders can make you better.

I’m not saying that what Peter did was anything less than sin.
His denial of Jesus was terrible, one of the worst things you can do in terms of faith.
I’m also not giving permission to engage in anything which is an offense to God with the excuse that God will use it for a good purpose.

I am saying that Christ has a way of taking our sins, failures, and shortcomings and bringing something beautiful out of them.
He knows that we are imperfect creatures, but out of His love and wisdom uses our imperfections to perfect us.
Jesus can use your blunders to make you better.
The hard part is getting up after you fall.
Many want to lay there in self-pity and despair rather than getting up, repenting and going at it again.

I’ll pick this back up in my next entry….

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