By now its common news, the statement, the denial, and the apology. For Christians, especially as we see the political activism heat up in the Christian community, Pat Robertson’s latest escapade is an important lesson.
Aside from the point that when ones reputation and prestige outweigh ones attentiveness to the Bible guidelines there is a severe imbalance of priorities, there is another dynamic that has taken place here. This is not an uncommon one, even though many of us don’t have it so publicly displayed…yet… What we have seen illustrated is the way cultivating ones anger and self importance carves out, internally, a place for us to move quite far from Christ. We do not even realize how far we have drifted, until the step over the line has been made. Then come the consequences and the exposure.
This is a lifestyle move, it is made of many missteps, and ignoring the need to align oneself carefully with the reflection of the Word of God, as in the book of James,
“But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.
But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.
If anyone among you thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this oneâ€™s religion is useless. “
It is important to keep a check on that buildup of self-importance, of allowing that rationalized anger to have its secret place in the heart. Sooner, rather than later, that secret place will out itself… and the shame will be apparent to all.
I can say this, I have been there. And it taught me a lesson, one that is being publicly illustrated in this news event.
The thing I will leave the reader with is this: the wrong way to address this sort of problem is to try to weasel out of it. It is not time to try to grab the vestiges of ones pride and cover with the short blanket ( or should I say fig leaves?) of excuses or lame explanations. It certainly does no good to give out lackluster half-hearted apologies. what is called for is real repentance, the soul-searching, confessing, and bitter tears type of repentance.
That will take us back to that humble walk with God that would keep us from falling on our faces and bringing cause for criticism to the Lord we say we serve.
And the danger in politics is that we can so easily fall into this fault. Our cause may seem so righteous, the need to act and speak so urgent, the delay of introspection and careful self-assessment so excusable. Pat Robertson is n’t the only one… and we aren’t so far away from committing the same mistakes, especially as the headlong sweep of political importunity takes us for a ride.
- Don’t seek to grab the day for God, let Him make the outline and the plan
- Keep track of building resentments
- Confess and forsake even the seemingly small infractions
- Part with anger and pride of place, remember that it is God who brought to to your place of relevance and God who keeps you there
- Walk carefully and keep a watch on your mode of expression
- When found in a fault repent fully and completely- don’t trust half-measures