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ANOTHER MAN’S FAILURE IS A TEST FOR US

 From time to time, you hear of a preacher, politician, or someone in a dignified position come under accusation. Recently, it’s been a preacher accused of sexually abusing teenagers from his mega-church. Flashback to 1995 when President Clinton was caught having an affair with Monica Lewinski. What stood out to me besides the obvious was how some Christians metaphorically shook their fingers at our president’s failure. Instantly the words of Jesus come to me when He said (and I’m paraphrasing) “The same tape measure you use to judge others, will be used on you”. These words are haunting in a modern culture that accuses and tries people before a jury even gets chosen.

Back to the preacher who has come under accusation. Only time will tell if it’s true or not. What is true however is that whenever someone falls or is accused, it’s not just a test for them, but also for us.

King David was tested one day when Nathan the prophet whisked through the palace doors in his sage robes and told David the story of a rich man who was having a guest for dinner. Although the man was wealthy with thousands of sheep and other live stock, instead of taking one of his own animals for the feast, he looked greedily across his property and over at a poor neighbor who had “one little baby lamb”. He took the neighbor’s lamb, killed it and feasted with his guest. David became unhinged and vowed that whoever this man is, he will return what he stole four times over, and then be executed. Nathan responded darkly, “You are the man”. David failed the test and in the process implicated himself. The same tape measure he used was now coming back to measure him.

 The next time any of us feel the inkling to shake our metaphorical finger at someone else’s failure, we had better ask ourselves the question: “What is inside of me that is similar to that person?” One might suppose the saying is true: “It takes one to know one”.