Good afternoon folks. I want to thank you. I want to thank you each for the times you have chosen to overlook offenses throughout the past year, it has been to your honor and I am proud of you. Thank you the times you've avoided arguments over disputable matters (Rom 14:1), and have chosen not to judge your neighbor for his or her misdeeds, foul words, and misplaced votes. You have let your light shine (Matt 5:14).
You have also failed. You've been self-congratulatory (Rom 12:3). You've lost your temper (Eph 4:26). You've complained (Phil 2:14), served yourselves (Phil 2:3) and spoken thoughtlessly. You have judged your neighbors (Luke 6:37) and hated your enemies (Matt 5:44). Your limited goodness does not negate your misdeeds.
I'm right there with ya. We're sinners living in a fallen world. We mess up a lot, and our God is not amazed or surprised to that we fail and his love is so much greater than our failings. Throughout our proud and pathetic moments God has remained and will remain good; his never fails (Ex 15:13). God goes to bat for us (1 John 2:1) and continues to guide our steps (Pro 16:9), answer our prayers (Jer 33:3) and cover over our sins. We've been busy for the past while, and life is about to get busy again. Take this comparatively calm moment to think clearly about how you've acted in the days leading up to yesterday's vote, and to understand beyond any shadow of doubt that in spite of anything you've said or done that here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners--of whom I am the worst (1 Tim 1:15). Etch that saying in your heart and I'm confident you'll have a better chance of not being a jerk in 2016.