Monday, August 5, 2013

To Err is Human

I suppose that’s one of the ironies of life doing the wrong thing at the right moment. Charlie Chaplin

We all make mistakes. When we make small mistakes it’s easy to get past them. If we spill our drink on the dinner table, it may be aggravating, but we simply get something to clean it up with and move on. The big mistakes we make usually are obvious to others and may require a lot more than a paper towel to clean up.

A couple, in Fort Worth, Texas, bought a house from the husband’s aunt, earlier this year. The land the house sat on had been in their family for decades and the house was near the shore of Lake Worth. Once they moved into their new retreat, the couple put their old house in Fort Worth on the market.

Since the property had not sold yet, they stopped by this past Saturday to mow the grass. When they got there, the grass did need mowing, but there was no house! All that was left of their house was a slab for the foundation. Needless to say, the couple was shocked.

When they investigated, they found out that the building next door had been condemned by city of Fort Worth. The city had hired a demolition company to tear down the useless building, which is still standing. The demolition company billed the city $6,000 and tore down the wrong structure.

Obviously, this was not a small mistake. It has affected the demolition company, the city of Fort Worth and a couple, who simply wanted to sell their house. It may take some time to sort out who to
What's left of the house!
blame and who has to pay for the damages. The demolition company might have gotten the wrong address from the city or they may have made the mistake themselves. One thing we do know is that all involved will be pointing the finger at the others and accusing them of being wrong.

Most of the time, when Jesus dealt with people who were in the wrong, He gave them information and let them draw their own conclusions. This was His way of making them think for themselves or shielding them from the embarrassment of being called out in public for their errant thinking. There was only one recorded instance of Jesus plainly telling someone they were wrong.

Matthew and Mark both record the account of the Saducees questioning Jesus. The Saducees were a Jewish sect that did not believe in life after death. They tried to trick Jesus by asking a question about whose wife a woman would be in Heaven, since she had been married many times on earth. The question was nonsense for them, because they didn’t even believe in the resurrection and Jesus called them on it. Jesus replied, “Are you not therefore mistaken, because you do not know the Scriptures nor the power of God?” He then went on to answer the question.

However, it is what Jesus said next that was so profound. Mark 12: 26-27 reads, But concerning the dead, that they rise, have you not read in the book of Moses, in the burning bush passage, how God spoke to him, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’?  He is not the God of the dead, but the God of the living. You are therefore greatly mistaken.

Did you catch that? God told Moses that He is the God of three men who had died many years before. So if God is not a God of the dead, then they must be alive. Then Jesus lowers the boom that He doesn’t do with anyone else in scripture. He basically says, “You’re wrong!”

As we all know, we all make mistakes. The key is to not make the same ones over and over. When you know it’s wrong, don’t continue to do it. I’m sure that the demolition crew in Texas will double check the address before they ever tear down another building. Shouldn’t we learn from our mistakes even more, if the Creator of the Universe tells us, in no uncertain terms, that we’re wrong?

The Saducees didn’t listen to Jesus and continued in their errant beliefs. They heard the Word straight from the mouth of Jesus, but still could not admit that they were wrong. They learned nothing. Within 40 years of this encounter with Jesus, the entire sect became extinct.

God has given us His Word in the Bible. In it, He gives us the way to live a wonderful life. Yes, we will still make mistakes, but if we follow Him, He will forgive us and put us back on the right path. Don’t make the greatest mistake a person can ever make, by not asking Christ to come into your life. Give everything to the Him, mistakes and all.

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)