I often think that the Bible is full of ideas on living a more perfect life – and how I am not measuring up to the way I should be.
There are lots of life instructions in many parts of the Bible. I’m glad, as they correct me when my ways are getting skewed away from healthier paths.
But there are also tons of stories of people who failed – and how God used them anyhow. Or how God used their failure for His best purposes.
Sometimes others did bad stuff to someone and yet God used those actions for the best purpose in that person’s life – or even to benefit way more than just the wronged person. “You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good” (Genesis 50:20a). Read the story of Joseph and how his brothers left him for dead because he was being insensitive and proud (Genesis 37-50).
Then there’s Paul. It’s easy to view him as a super-holy missionary guy. But he and John Mark did not get along – enough that Paul refused to go on a journey with him (Acts 15:36-41). I don’t know how God redeemed that situation – but it’s reassuring to know that even Paul had his personality conflicts.
Read the Bible with an eye to how human the characters are. You’ll see yourself between the lines. You’ll also see ways God can use you in spite of how human you are.
Paul Merrill writes here every first Friday.