Warts And All
. . . If anyone has a complaint against another;
even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.
Oliver Cromwell, known as the “Protector of England,” was a military commander in the seventeenth century. It was common practice during those days for people of importance to have their portraits painted. And it was not unusual for an artist to avoid depicting the less attractive aspects of a person’s face. Cromwell, however, wanted nothing to do with a likeness that would flatter him. He cautioned the artist, “You must paint me just as I am; warts and all or I will not pay you.”
Apparently, the artist complied. The finished portrait of Cromwell displays a couple of prominent facial warts that in the present day would surely be filtered or airbrushed out before being posted on social media.
The expression “warts and all” has come to mean that people should be accepted just as they are, with all their annoying faults, attitudes, and issues. In some cases, we feel that is a very difficult task. Yet, when we take a hard inward look, we might find some pretty unattractive aspects of our own character.
We are grateful that God forgives our “warts.” And in Colossians 3, we are taught to extend grace to others. The apostle Paul encourages us to be more patient, kind, and compassionate, even to those who are not easy to love. He urges us to have a forgiving spirit because of the way God forgives us (v 12–13). By His example, we are taught to love others the way God loves us, “warts and all.”
Father, help me to see people as You do, and to love them as You do, warts and all. In Jesus name. Amen.