I have been thinking about this topic for a few days now.
The words “vet” and “vetting” were expanded in our culture a few years ago and is now commonly used when we are discussing the selection process for politicians, human resources, volunteer organizations, spouses and the selection process of God.
I can get pretty passionate about this subject as it relates to the selection process of God. Why? Because unfortunately, people generally have to be involved.
And we find ourselves as “imperfect” people looking for the “perfect” candidate to fill a pulpit, to become a teacher, a nursery worker, a missionary, whatever the job or role might be in God’s service, which is everything in life.
Quite frankly, if we had sat on a “vetting” committee for Christ as he was selecting his initial followers we would have ruled out most of those he picked himself. Uneducated fisherman and tax collectors? They were not even Christians yet and Christ thrust them into roles of leadership immediately. Training them for three years yes, but that training was for when he would be gone.
A man who would sell out Christ, betray him and then commit suicide? If we had known that, we would have rejected him on the first look. If were were helping Jesus pick his team we would have said, “Sorry Judas. We know Christ brought you in but we are kicking you out. Next.”
Rough, ignorant fisherman who knew nothing of his teaching and who would argue among themselves and then one would deny the very person who had asked him to join? Even though he was the guy that would actually begin “the church” we would say, “Sorry Peter, ole buddy, you can’t play. You’re outside our box. Next.”
Saul who became Paul? Let me think back. Oh yeah, he was the guy killing the christians before he became a christian and would go on to write a bulk of the New Testament. Left up to us… “Let’s see now. Education looks good. But, these radical views…Paul, I don’t know. We better keep looking. Next.”
What was Jesus thinking when he was picking these people? They knew little about him, they all had tremendous baggage and if left up to us we would never have selected them.
God did the same thing in the Old Testament.
Moses – Stuttering, murdering trouble maker. And lying too. Spent his early life making everyone believe he was a Prince of Egypt when in fact he was a son of a slave. “Sorry, you’re gone Moses. That murder rap is going to eliminate you from leading your people out of bondage and becoming one of the greatest historical leaders mankind has ever known. Besides, no one can understand what you are saying. You stutter. Next.”
King David – Okay. Now here’s one. How this guy got through the process baffles the mind. Let’s look forward. He would commit adultery, murder the woman’s husband, lie, cheat, be a horrible father, administrator and husband. “Sorry David, we will have to pass over your name on the deacon selection committee, uhh, you just ain’t got your act together. Next.”
Oh heck. I left something out. Sorry.
Moses was the guy who the Bible says was a “friend of God.” And that God “talked to him face to face.” And that God himself buried Moses. That was pretty important to the story. Sorry about the omission.
And that guy David? He went on to become King of Israel and the Bible says, “was a man after God’s own heart.” And became one of God’s greatest leaders.
The vetting of David should give all of us a boost of encouragement today. When God through his prophet Samuel was looking for a specific king God said to Samuel, “God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”
We set standards on people that Christ would never set. Our humanity causes us to kick out of the boat the same people God is trying to get in the boat. We actually hinder God’s work over and over again. With good intentions we eliminate the people that God is calling and trying to place into His service.
A friend of mine who is also a pastor, posted this on Facebook this morning and I appreciate Gino Zalunardo writing this. “God does not see the spots, He only sees the perfection of His love.”
All I LOOK FOR is the spots. When I am looking at others I see the spots first, then maybe, if convicted and shamed, I see what God is actually trying to do in that other person. Perfect them to His image.
So how about some encouragement…
I have spots, you have spots, we all have spots. My spots are real big to man, not so big to God.
We as mortals can not see beyond the spots. Unless…
…unless we choose to.
Here is something I like to do. Not suggesting you do this.
On Facebook, when I see someone post something that is vile, vulgar and so distasteful and full of profanity, I don’t look at the spots. I pursue them for God. If God can change their heart and redirect all that passion toward His cause, then they will look a lot like the early disciples. Rough, but Christ saw something in them that others would not have seen and he pursued them.
So, look for the person you come in contact with that you would otherwise reject for God’s purposes. God will direct you. Let them know that God loves them in their imperfections, with their spots and that He created something in them that no one else can see.
My gosh, is this that hard? Actually fulfilling the teaching of Christ?
God should never have chosen me to live out my life on his behalf. But for some reason He did. Spots and all.
I should never have made it through the vetting process.
“Man looks at the outward appearance.” What man can see. “The Lord looks at the heart.” What man can not see.
There is Hope for each of us…in God…spots and all.