I have some confessions to make. . . I have spent a considerable amount of time with drug addicts and alcoholics. I am also in and out of prison a couple of times a month. *Phew* that feels good to get that off my chest.
I gotta tell ya. I'm really getting tired of hearing the left, (and some on the right) accuse Conservatives and particularly Christians of being hypocrites. We keep hearing about how we don't live up to our ideals. I was listening to Laura Ingraham the other day and she put it really well. She talked about how ideals are just that, the ideal that we reach for but know we sometimes fall short of because we are imperfect. Laura put it "the best way to not be a hypocrite is to have no morals." Now, lest some liberals think I'm accusing them of being moral less I'm not. But, that does feel like the message that they are trying to send to us.
Liberals get so angry with us when we don't get angry at Conservatives who are not living up to our ideals. They cannot understand why Conservatives don't blast Bristol Palin for being a hypocrite as she preaches the importance of abstinence. They cannot understand why we don't throw a tantrum that Carrie Prejean (Miss California) had some "racy" photos taken, the likes of which you can see on a multitude of mainstream magazines. They don't get how come we are not furious with Christians who make mistakes. Why? It's because they don't understand the most important part of Christianity, Jesus Christ.
You see God has more naughty children than anybody. But, in His mercy and grace He has provided a way for us to repent and change. We know we are all imperfect and that we need the Atonement of Christ to make us whole again.
So, we look at that beautiful kid Bristol Palin and see yes she made a mistake. Who doesn't make mistakes in life? But, look at what she is doing now. She is out there encouraging people to learn from her and not make the same mistake. We see that as courageous and humble. I think it is admirable when people make changes in their lives and even more admirable when they use their experiences to better the lives of others.
We look at Miss California. She is being attacked for standing up for what she believes. We see a strong and forgiving person. Is she perfect, no way, but who is? To be imperfect and yet to stand firm in your faith is truly remarkable and should be emulated.
It comes from an understanding of Christ. He can take any difficult situation, regardless of the cause and make you a stronger, better person if you let Him do His work in and through you. It's an amazing blessing and a miracle.
Working as a therapist in substance abuse treatment I had a sacred honor of getting to know individuals without the mask of drug and alcohol abuse. Let me tell you I saw beauty in so many countenances. I saw God working in their lives.
I have the blessing of teaching Sunday school classes at a women's prison. There is hardly much more humbling of an experience than being taught about repentance by people who are in the trenches of it. I have learned far more from them than they have from me.
So, here's the thing. We Conservatives have ideals. We have morals we reach for but know we all fall short. I'm a perpetual screw up, I make mistakes like everybody. It's a level playing field. Not only that but we are all on the same team. So, we help and support each other including in and especially when we are struggling through trials.
We trust in the miracle that is the Atonement of Christ. We honor those that stick their necks out there for our values. We are all imperfect by golly but we know what is right and will strive to get there.
Life is not about every decision including mistakes. Life is about who we become. Mistakes will most definitely be made. But, it’s what you do about it that really makes you. We are free to choose our own path. Choosing to use that freedom to help yourself and help others become better, and especially doing so through Christ is authentic Christianity at its best. We keep supporting each other even while others look on in dismay.
Christ lives. I can never thank Him enough for how he has changed me and for the patience He has as I continue to struggle through a mistake filled life. Seeing His hand in my life is an incredible blessing. Seeing it in others is also a blessing and a reminder of all that is good and worth fighting for.