November 11
Schizophrenic faith
Pastor Mark Jeske

One of the characteristics of bad movies is that they make cartoons out of people—their characters are either all pure or all evil. The reality is that all of us are walking contradictions. Sometimes we are courageous, sometimes cowardly. Sometimes we are noble, sometimes weak and selfish. Sometimes we are generous, other times miserly. The best movies illustrate how even villains have some admirable qualities and how hard even “good” people have to strive against their weaknesses.

Our faith lives can be schizophrenic too. Jesus met a man once whose son was being tormented by demon possession. He begged for Jesus’ help, but confessed that his faith was pretty shaky: “‘But if you can do anything, take pity on us and help us.’ ‘“If you can”?’ said Jesus. ‘Everything is possible for him who believes.’ Immediately the boy’s father exclaimed, ‘I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!’” (Mark 9:22-24).

Jesus did not despise the man for his weaknesses, and he does not despise you either. He knows you inside and out—he knows you are a bundle of contradictions. His Word brings both encouragement and forgiveness—his love amplifies your good qualities and his great patience bears with your weaknesses. He knows that sometimes you are as strong as an ox in your faith and sometimes you wilt like a six-day-old cut flower.

Jesus’ mission on earth is not to pin medals on the perfect, but rather to rescue the flawed.


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