Thursday, February 26, 2009

This week's lesson: the prophet's integrity

How good must you be in order to be used by God?

That's the question this week's lesson asks about prophets -- but it's a good question to ask of anyone in authority.

We all expect our leaders to have integrity, after all; we want them to be honest, brave, courteous, cheerful, thrifty, and clean. Anything less, and they're hypocrites who don't practice what they preach.

But we all recognize that leaders are people too; as such, they often fall short of God's glory. And yes, this even includes prophets.
  • Moses lost his temper, remember.
  • Balaam was greedy.
  • Elijah feared Jezebel.
  • Jeremiah got discouraged.
  • Ezekiel tried to quit.
  • And Jonah tried to run away from God.
In short, prophets are sinners who need God's grace just as much as anyone else -- and if this is true of them, then how much more is it true of teachers, pastors, TV evangelists, and the people who write blogs about Sabbath School lessons!

That's why we should respect these people -- but we shouldn't be surprised when they fall short.

We should expect great things from them -- but we should also expect them to be human.

And if they object to being held accountable, then we may need to point out that God has blessed us through their ministry.

But this only proves that God is good.

It doesn't really say anything about them.

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