“Fault” – it’s one of the nastiest words in the English language, no matter the context. Geologically, it’s that place where earthquakes can be common. Psychologically, it’s that whole concept of blame and shame. Electronically, it’s what happened to me six times on Thursday! I was removing a CD-R from the drive on my laptop, and Shazam! the computer screen turned a lovely shade of blue with white writing – definitely not very much like Windows – announcing to me that there was a ‘fault’ and that the computer had shut down to protect itself.
Thankfully, it manages to recover from what Windows calls a “serious error” every time – and I am writing this email on the same computer – but it leaves me wondering whether it’s time to send the drive to Silicon Hades (Silicon Valley isn’t deep enough!). In fact, I suggested to the CBS tech support guys that such should be its fate.
When it comes to technology, we’re often not very grace-filled, are we? If a component fails on us enough times, we immediately seek replacement. (The main IT guy just emailed me to ask for the service tag number – that’s a good sign!)
But how about when it comes to other, more personal, “faults”? I grew up a perfectionist, and I’m slowly learning to step away from that model of living. It’s just too stressful! As human beings, it’s natural for us to want to excel (whether for the right or wrong reasons), and to want others to excel, too – but when a ‘fault’ happens, it happens. When a working colleague, or a family member, or a friend, or even the person driving in front of us, commits an error of some sort, are we willing to be gracious, and not dispense with them as we would an errant CD drive?
Someone insightful once said that we should thank God that we don’t get what we deserve. A holy, perfect God deserves perfection from his creatures made just a little lower than him (Psalm 8), but that’s far from what he gets from me – probably from you, too. Thankfully, we serve a gracious God. The Scripture – most notably the Old Testament – refers to the Lord several times as “the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness” (Exodus 34.6, NIV – in this example).
Isn’t that wonderful? God is more compassionate, more gracious, slower to anger, more abounding in love and faithfulness than any one of us. It’s such a good thing that God doesn’t treat us like faulty computer components! He could – but he chooses not to, because we are his people, made in his image, designed to love and serve him. He is ever willing to forgive our faults, when we come to him in faith through Jesus Christ our Lord, who was the only faultless One.