Flawed But Functional

January 7, 2018
by Martin Wiles

Deuteronomy 7:6 – For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession. (NIV)

Sin had ensnared another victim.

I listened as the newscaster gave a piecemeal report. The leaders of a noted megachurch were meeting behind closed doors. The pastor had planted the church sixteen years previously on a college campus. From a small start, it grew into a megachurch with numerous satellite campuses, and thousands flocked to them each week. The following morning, I listened to the newscaster again. This time the news was grimmer. The pastor had been accused of alcohol abuse and was asked to step down.

Had church leaders polled church members for advice on how to handle the situation, they would have been given a wide variety of opinions. Some would want him to stay; some would want him to leave; and some would have given intermediary actions between the two extremes. What will happen to his ministry is also up for grabs. Opinions of those in leadership positions will determine whether he ever ministers again.

Though God proclaimed His Old Testament people to be holy, they were often anything but. They dabbled in the pagan worship rites of their neighbours while simultaneously trying to worship God. Their repeated pattern was faithfulness followed by rebellion. God designated them as holy — and expected them to be — but they rarely were. Flaws decorated their lifestyles — just as they did the pastor of this megachurch.

Flaws are inevitable. I was born with a flawed nature. Christ gives me a new one at salvation, but He doesn't perfect me immediately. I'll have to wait for heaven to experience that. In the meantime, I'm flawed like the Israelites and the pastor — and all people. I journey toward experiential holiness, but flaws keep me from reaching it in this life.

But the news isn't all bad. I may be flawed, but I'm still functional. Though this pastor abused alcohol and was asked to step down, God can give him power over his addiction and use him again. God used the Israelites in spite of their rebellion. King David committed adultery, murdered, schemed, and lied, but God still found room in His service for him. He has continued to use me even though I've made many missteps into areas that I should have avoided.

You may be flawed, but you are still functional in God's service.

Prayer: Father, we thank You for using us even when we fail to be all that You want us to be. Amen.

About the author:

Martin Wiles <mandmwiles@gmail.com>
Greenwood, South Carolina, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Amen to that!

    Good word Martin.

    Dear Martin,
    Thanks very much for this devotional.
    God bless you!
    (Ontario, Canada)

    Thank you, Martin. I live with my many flaws but never thought of ever being perfect. The concept of becoming perfect when reaching heaven is new to me and I will give it much thought, it is a wonderful thought.

    Greetings Martin,
    Appreciated your devotional this morning. How fortunate we are that our dear Lord is ever ready to forgive us for our misdemeanours. Try as we might to be flawless there always seems to be a time when we go astray but when we come to the Lord asking forgiveness and asking His direction, His grace and mercy prevail. Thanks be to God!
    Blessings to you,

    What a great devotional! I used to conduct a bible study for retired people of multi-denominational faiths. One Christian lady, a member of one of the more fundamentalist denominations, disliked David intently, and wondered how a righteous God could ever have used him. I pointed out to her, as patiently as I could, that Jacob was a cheat; Moses, a murderer; David, an adulterer; Peter, a coward; and that Paul could be accused of being anti-feminist. I pointed out that God used and uses flawed, sometimes deeply flawed people instead of icons of perfection all the time. I still don’t know whether I convinced her. Well done anyway!

    Great message Martin; truly God’s grace is amazing! Blessings.

    Dear Martin Wiles,
    Your devotional gives us deep thoughts.
    I do not think this person should be cut off from the church he has served. I think the church people should take care of the one who has served them. He must be loved by those who know the depth of the love and “grace and peace of God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, who gave himself for our sins (the righteous for the unrighteous to bring you to God” – (1 Peter 3:18a).

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