“If you run away from every opportunity to make a mistake, you will be the most isolated, safe, boring, uncaring person imaginable.”
This is a quote from John Piper about the inevitability of saying the wrong thing to a handicapped person. He encourages people to approach the handicapped or their parents, rather than walking away and guaranteeing you won’t say the wrong thing.
It’s a fine point, but I think the quote can be applied to a vast array of situations. Take church softball as a random example.
Say it’s 105 degree heat index and your team is playing a denomination known for having a certain sex of people who argue all the time and you happen to be legally blind and can’t see once the sun goes down and yet no one else is available to play shortstop and your throwing and hitting and catching are off and every play has an argument attached to it and you happen to be a pastor of a church who probably blew his testimony before many small children a multitude of times.
Hypothetically, this person as soon as he gets in the car says he probably won’t play softball again. Ever.
What happens if this hypothetical pastor decides never again to put himself in a situation to blow it? Will he have less sin? Yup, but will he ever learn? Nope.
The desire to be righteous must not ever overpower the desire to still live. Living in caves is a fine solution for your self-centered growth, but it helps no one and actually closes you off from growth.
Oh that we’d have the grace to forgive one another, to overlook faults and encourage each other to continue on. It’s why church is so important–as we forgive each other and edify one another, we are all helped.
Some days you’re the one who blows it; some days you’re the one who shows grace. Grace is nice. Show it. Especially to hypothetical pastors.