It would have been so easy for the writers of Scripture to ‘airbrush’ out the faults of key biblical figures. In our western culture, we almost expect people to do that. Yet because of those ancient writers, we know the characters of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob.. in fact pretty much everyone in Scripture, ‘warts and all’. We see their strengths, but we also see their weaknesses and faults. They all had shortcomings, and those are often what turns these characters into real people. It makes their stories real and sometimes gritty.
Moses had his faults, but God still gifted and used him. David made dreadful mistakes, but God honoured him.
‘Solomon (son of David) showed his love for the LORD by walking according to the instructions given to him by his father David, except that he offered sacrifices and burned incense on the high places.’ (1 Kings 3:3) (emphasis mine).
The mistakes of the followers of Jesus are all there in the New Testament story. They were all good people. They had good intentions. They aimed high, and God blessed them when they did, but they didn’t always completely get it right.
There have been times when I’ve messed up. So all this gives me hope. Like you and me, every one of these people fell short of God’s standard and stood in need of His forgiveness – yet God blessed them when they repented. He blessed them when they aimed high. And He will bless you too.
In the same way that the deep blue of outer space emphasises the brightness of the moon, so the weakness of character of these giants of Scripture emphasises and throws into greater clarity the purity of Christ – the one who was tempted and persecuted, yet never fell short.
Don’t expect perfection in others. Don’t expect it in yourself. When you fall short, take responsibility – and move on.
Keep on praying.