I Done a Lot of Foolish Things

I’m thankful there are a few things of which I can be proud for there are many which I would disclaim if I could.  Those foolish things I really didn’t mean.  I’d take them back if I could, but the moving finger writes and moves on.  It would be hard to portray how many times and tears have been spent in regret with no recourse.  While I feel my situations most keenly, it occurs to me that others find themselves in similar uncomfortable climes and, like me, do not have oratory or opportunity for redress.  That we often perform careless acts of great concern is deeply rooted in the teachings of Scripture regarding the human condition.

Speaking of carelessness, my math teacher would say I made careless mistakes.  I never understood that because I was really trying.  How could I make careless mistakes when I really did care?  Auto accidents are another thing.  I always tried to be careful.  How could I be careless?  Over time, I have come to understand that a person can exercise care according to their measure, yet it not be sufficient for the circumstance.  It is possible to expend sincere effort, and fall short of the goal.  Reasons for such failures may be lack of experience, training or knowledge and not lack of industry on the part of the doer.

In such manner, we can make mistakes unintentionally though acting in certitude of their propriety.  Paul said that evil was present with him even when he tried to do well.  On reflection, it’s hard to achieve full satisfaction whatever our accomplishments as we each are imperfect children of God and have healthy doses of blindness when examining our deeds and robust self-protecting biases.  Time levels all things, and we see clearly the proper actions after the ability to act is past.  The commonality of this experience is one reason that the Word reminds us to consider ourselves when we observe the failings and fallings of others.

Some in our society (and it may be most) proclaim with positivity that people are mainly good and respond favorably in warm and welcoming environments.  While it is true that good bearings, background and breeding are to be envied, it is not biblically correct that people are basically benevolent.  People are sinful at root.  We are all sinful by birth and by choice.  God help us!  We sin by choice.  But it is the tendency to do the wrong things, even when we are unaware of harmful volition that causes us to make error after error in judgment and rain down misfortune and malfeasance as our own worst enemies.

The commonality of error is a great reason we are to be patient with one another.  It is not so much that we could be in the same positions as others but for the grace of God as it is that we have been in the same positions as others (admit it or not) and slipped the noose.  This forbearance is in line with our Lord’s teaching regarding treating others the way we would like to be treated and in consideration of possible future temptations.  The pervasiveness of sinful inclinations is a testimony to the totality of the fall of mankind, as well as, the grace of God.  We show ourselves like God by offering forgiveness and support.

Occasionally, certain (especially men) will they’d rather be respected than liked.  While I understand the sentiment, I think I’d rather be liked.  See, if people like you, they will overlook your faults.  Respect is something that is continually earned and, often, accompanied by resentment and with reservation.  In addition, it is easier to plead your case to one inclined toward you rather than one enamored with the idea of you.  When we have played the fool, our need is not explanation; our need is grace.  If we are broken men and women, mercy to cover sins and shortcomings is sealed and delivered in Christ.


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