Only One White Hat Needed
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Only One White Hat Needed

I sometimes wish life was as easy to sort out as it is in the old-time westerns when the good guys wore white hats.  I very much doubt there is much of a market for white hats.  Good historians, those dedicated to seeing through our self-created myths, seek to reveal as much actuality as possible.  The more we study the more we come to realize our heroes of the past were just people with good publicists. One of my heroes, Thomas Jefferson, was a spendthrift and a slave holder.  Yet I realize how wrong it is to judge a historical character by today’s ethics.  Unless we know all the details we would be wise to withhold judgment.  Every time and every culture cast their own shade of gray upon human behavior.

It is best to keep our heroes at arms length and not seek too much detail. Many years ago we had a family to our home for Sabbath dinner.  Upon leaving the husband reported to others that I, the pastor, was not the man they thought I was.  I don’t think that was to be understood that I was better than he had thought.  His big mistake was coming to dinner.  Some might say, “You should have been better.”   Sorry about that, but, I think I lost my white hat after about one week in the ministry.

Rarely am I surprised or crushed when I hear something negative about a sterling person.  My concept of him is not lowered because I know all of us are very flawed.  But I might think less of the person who bore the bad tidings.  There has only been one among us worthy of the white hat.  See Hebrew 4:15 for the answer.

Written by Roger Bothwell on June 2, 2010

Spring of Life Ministry, PO Box 124, St. Helena, CA 94574