Second Chances…or third…or fourth…or…


“So when they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Tend My lambs.” He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Shepherd My sheep.”  He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Tend My sheep.”– John 21:15-17
Anthony Weiner, the ex-congressman that had photos show up on the internet and ruined his career, is running for Mayor of New York City. This is a man who had photos of himself in his underwear (as opposed to someone else’s) posted on his twitter account and then lied about the fact it was him. He lied to his then pregnant wife and said his account was hacked, but it all came crashing down. He came clean and lost his career as a congressman. Now, two years later, he is stepping back into the political ring with his run at Mayor.  (http://nation.time.com/2013/05/22/anthony-weiner-launches-bid-to-become-nyc-mayor/)
In the article he mentions his need for a second chance and it also shares his wife said “she has forgiven him.” Yet, it shows that half of New Yorker’s polled said “they wouldn’t even consider him (for mayor).” This is interesting and possibly indicative of our human nature. Should he be provided with a second chance? Is this fair for the general public of New York to look at this man with an eye of concern? I don’t know.
Leaders need to be accountable for their actions and need to hold up to a certain standard, but failure is inevitable when you are put on a pedestal. No man should be looked at as being perfect, but they should be held responsible for their actions that shed a negative light on their family, their followers, etc. The only rub is whether or not this should just be a set standard for leaders?  I do know the answer to this one: NO!
We need to be held accountable for our actions, especially if they reflect poorly on the Church as a whole. God must be glorified in all we do, but when we make a mistake or poor judgment call that brings a harsh judgment on the Church, we must answer for that. However, we should be given grace too. If we truly are remorseful and have learned from our actions, then we must be given that chance. Christ gave it to Peter. He didn’t say “Well, Peter, I warned you about the rooster and you failed. You are the weakest link. Goodbye!” On the contrary, he gave him another chance and Peter built the Church!
If we fail to give people the chance to prove themselves after failing and mark them for life due to their past decisions, then we may hinder them from achieving something great. Do not let your past failures keep you from moving forward. Learn from them, grow, and allow God to move you on to changing the world.
Question: I watched his video seeking to rework his image for the people he is aiming to serve and shared his remorse. He also speaks of the lessons he has learned during this time. Should this open the door for the second chance? Or is it too late? What about other leaders (i.e. church leaders)?
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2 thoughts on “Second Chances…or third…or fourth…or…

  1. This is a sensitive topic for me. Someone very close to me had repeatedly hurt me until a boundary had to be set. That person has not asked for forgiveness nor demonstrated a change in behavior, yet many call me to give a second chance. I believe it would be foolish to do so. I have forgiven that person, yet until there has been some repentance, I don't see reconciliation as possible.

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  2. Stephen, I think it is wise to guard yourself from getting hurt again. I want to encourage you to rethink the idea of reconciliation. If you forgive, then the process of reconciliation has begun. All we can do is continue praying for those who continue to do the same actions and trust that God will work. Your interaction with this person may allow for God to reveal His process of reconciliation. Keep an open heart and open mind to what God may be doing in the heart of the person who has caused you pain. I will be praying for you and this situation.

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