For some years now historians, gossip magazines, and the media have highlighted Martin Luther King’s flaws, weaknesses, and brokenness. And you know what? I’m OK with that.
Children read history that often describes many of our heroes as perfect idols. Washington and the cherry tree. Lincoln freeing the slaves. Roosevelt ending the Depression, Rosa Parks and her stance for equality, Dorothy Day and her ministry to the poor, etc. No flaws mentioned. No weaknesses itemized. But this fact may lead our young people to think about their role in society and say to themselves, “I have so many weaknesses, so many flaws. I could never have a life that would leave an impact for good.”
Wrong message! All the great figures in our history had flaws, weaknesses, handicaps, and regrets. And yes, even Martin Luther King had some deep flaws. But despite those flaw and weaknesses, King led a peaceful social revolution that brought dramatic, desperately needed change to our world.
One of the great things about the Bible is it is honest about the heroes of the faith: Noah getting drunk, Abraham and Sarah not waiting on God to deliver the promises child, Jacob’s lies, Peter’s stubbornness, Matthew (Levi) and his cheating ways. Yet all these people were used by God in an incredible way.
All of us have weaknesses. All of us are guilty, sinful, broken. We all have regrets. Yet, God’s grace is available to all when we seek God’s forgiveness in Jesus. God can use any life for good, not matter how flawed, if we trust in the only One who had no flaws – Jesus.