We Are All Flawed
What is sown is perishable; what is raised is imperishable. It is sown in dishonor; it is raised in glory. It is sown in weakness; it is raised in power. 1 Corinthians 15:42-43
I recently had the opportunity to do a particularly challenging mountain hike with my son that I’d wanted to do for a while. It lived up to its notoriety as being difficult, and we were only a few minutes in when I felt not just burning muscles, but honest fear. It quickly occurred to me that maybe I’d overestimated my abilities. It was a brutal incline, taking us two hours to go only a mile, while stopping frequently to gasp for air. On the way down, my son blew past me as I tried to protect my knees from the bone-jarring decline. I realized that my age was starting to show. In the end, it was a lot of fun and I’m glad we did it, but I don’t ever want to do it again. Time passes and I’m not 19 anymore.
In today’s passage, Paul spoke of the weaknesses of our natural bodies. As he taught on the eventual resurrection from the dead that all Christians will one day experience, he described our earthly bodies – not in complimentary terms. He said that we’re dishonorable, weak, and in a constant state of decay. He taught that we will one day be made perfect, but that for now, we’re all terribly flawed.
This isn’t just about our physiology. Paul often spoke of our flesh nature in the same way that he spoke of our physical bodies. Since the fall of creation, we’re all broken. Our bodies are faulty, and our human nature is likewise faulty. We all struggle physically, mentally, and spiritually in some way. Our struggles are different, yet we all have them.
Just as our physical bodies aren’t made perfect when we come to Christ, our self-destructive flesh nature isn’t erased. When we come to faith, we’re given a new spiritual life, but we carry that new life in our imperfect bodies (2 Corinthians 4:7). Even as Christians, we’re still flawed.
There are several lessons here. First, we must remain humble. Those who think they aren’t flawed suffer from blinding pride – perhaps the worst flaw. Second, our struggles should give us compassion for the struggles of others. Third, in recognizing our failures, we must daily turn to God, asking what he would have us do with them. We may be in a state of physical decay, but the blessed message of the gospel, is that we don’t have to live enslaved to our flaws. Daily, if we follow Christ, we can grow spiritually, even as we decline physically.