Christians are not Perfect

By Vic Kohring, January 4, 2018

Have you ever seen the bumper sticker that says, “Christians aren't perfect. They are just forgiven”? These simple words are a painful reminder that Christians are human and subject to making lots of mistakes in life like anyone else. I’m no exception.  

I have bad moments where my attitude is a little sour and I don’t exactly act Christ-like. I try to abide by the rule that “You should treat others the way you wish to be treated,” although I occasionally fail during weak moments. I haven’t mastered the ability to conceal my frustrations when having a lousy day and keep them from spilling out. For this reason, I've been told I'd be a terrible poker player as I tend to wear my emotions on my sleeve.

I’ve made my share of mistakes in the course of living life and wish I could go back in time and change some things. But since that’s not possible, I try my best to learn from my missteps and move on.  

One high profile gaffe occurred a dozen years ago that dramatically altered the course of my life. For those unfamiliar with my background, I was a multi-term state legislator representing Wasilla. All heck broke loose when I once accepted a small gift from oil company executive Bill Allen which the FBI captured on a secret videotape during an investigation of Allen.

Although the gift was small ($100) and declared legal by the director of the Legislative Ethics Committee during her testimony at my trial, the U.S. Department of “Justice” lawyers conned a gullible jury into believing it represented a conspiracy to bribe by turning the matter into a colossal issue. 

After spending millions prosecuting me like feral dogs in need of a good neutering, the feds achieved a tainted conviction as it was later determined they cheated by hiding crucial evidence, engaged in a cover-up and pressured key witnesses to commit perjury on the stand. 

Regardless of the facts that supported my exoneration, I readily admit my mistake that regrettably placed me in a vulnerable legal position. While not a criminal act, it looked bad to accept even a minuscule gift from Mr. Allen in the middle of a legislative session at a time we were debating and voting on oil industry-related legislation beneficial to his company (despite my voting against a tax reform bill vigorously supported by Allen intended to set the stage for construction of the proposed gas pipeline). 

My brief lapse of judgement created an impression in the minds of some that I committed an ethical breach, which exposed me to abuse in court by overzealous federal prosecutors and gave them an excuse to indict me and what they saw as a thrilling opportunity to convict a sitting legislator and Oil & Gas Committee chairman (i.e. a chance to advance they careers with a high-profile case). 

The error of my ways does not take away from my Christianity as I’m still the same man of faith I’ve always been. But it does show that I’m human and can screw up like anyone, Christian or not. And it cost me dearly. Once the government lawyers sank their fangs into me, a small slip up on my part morphed into an enormous personal crisis.

No matter where we are in our Christian walk, missteps are inevitable. Romans 3:23 says that “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” I feel lucky that God is so merciful and forgiving despite my shortcomings and find comfort in the words of Romans 8:28: “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”   

I try to achieve wisdom from my mistakes and hopefully emerge a better person. They help me to grow in the faith and become stronger and a more humble and complete Christian. And I try hard to forget what happened in my past and strive for new goals in life as the Bible instructs. That’s my focus.