Mid-term elections are coming. We just had our primary here in Central Florida.
I voted. Quite pleased with myself, actually.
There weren’t a lot of voters. The excuses were numerous. It won’t matter because this isn’t the real thing. The incumbent always wins so why take the time. No matter that it’s a privilege and civic duty.
I had three people that I really wanted to vote for, had reason to vote for because I knew their platforms, and I wholeheartedly agreed with them.
Then there was the rest of the ballot.
Judges. Lots of judges. Councilmen. (Councilpeople?) I’d seen signs proclaiming their names, yet I had no idea of anyone else’s platforms.
So I Christmas treed the rest of the ballot. Picked names I’d seen a lot. Chose people whose names I liked. Ignored folks whose names didn’t conjure images of responsible civil servants.
Talk about being a hypocrite. Not particularly proud of it.
I can make excuses. Not enough time to research the candidates. (I didn’t care enough to make the time.)
I didn’t understand the issues at stake. (I didn’t care enough to make the effort.)
Are you seeing a pattern?
I realize this is a weakness of mine. Having great motives and really lousy follow-through. Not finishing well what I begin. Losing interest so what I began with gusto I finish like a dead, limp fish.
I’m not down on myself. I’m remarkably self-aware. But knowing where I tend to fail hasn’t made it easier to work on this weakness.
I’ve just gotten better at excusing it.
The good I want to do often gets left in the dust because something is more appealing or easier. I value integrity and character and acting in a way that reflects an honest heart.
The trouble is I get in the way. I become the stumbling block to my good intentions.
Developing better intentions doesn’t help. I can’t seem to leave me out of the picture for long. I show up most days.
Paul experienced the same conundrum. As someone whose life was truly changed by his encounter with Jesus, he could have come across as a spiritual know-it-all. But he knew what he was.
“The trouble is with me, for I am all too human, a slave to sin. I don’t really understand myself, for I want to do what is right, but I don’t do it. Instead, I do what I hate…I have discovered this principle of life–that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong…Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 7:14b, 15, 19, 21, 24-25
I’ll often make the wrong choice. Not because I really want to screw up. Because I can’t get away from the tendency in my life to compromise my good intentions.
Jesus knows my heart. And His gift to me is pure acceptance. Not based on what I’ve done or could ever do. Based on what He’s already done.
That’s a victory you can count on.
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