Public service is an opportunity, and a responsibility, to conduct yourself in an honest, faithful manner to your neighbors, your colleagues and before God.
Last week, two colleagues in the Legislature with whom I share beliefs and a core philosophy were found to be in gross misconduct. Due not only to the initial misconduct, but also the deceitful efforts taken to cover it up and to intentionally mislead the public by conspiring to use state-funded resources, I believe that they should publicly acknowledge their sin and violation of the public trust, and immediately resign the post that their constituents so graciously extended to them.
That is not to say they should have no future in this world or stop trying to improve the lives of their neighbors and our community. I have witnessed many across the state use this situation as an opportunity to lash out and criticize these legislators who have strong religious beliefs and to mock their politics.
But as a believer in Jesus Christ, my reaction must be dressed in love and forgiveness, because the only reason that I have a relationship with Christ at all is due to his love and forgiveness for my sin. None of us are perfect, and we all deserve at least that measure of understanding.
God has always used imperfect people to achieve his will, and will continue to do so. King David committed a sin with a woman who was not his wife and even went so far as to have the husband murdered to cover up his sin. Even though David faced dire consequences, God continued to use him because David’s response, found in Psalm 51, was an acknowledgment of his failure before God.
Have any of us who are sharing our thoughts about this affair attained total victory in every single area of our personal lives? By no means. Let’s be sure to not act as though we have.
In no way am I advocating for a free pass for this significant indiscretion, but rather imploring us all to take a hard look in the mirror before we so readily pile on those who have made terrible mistakes. I am also asking my colleagues to do the right thing, resign their posts and acknowledge their failure.
Stepping down from office cannot erase the extreme harm and damage that these two have caused to themselves, their families, the Legislature, the people of Michigan and the cause of Christ, but it will allow their process of healing and reconciliation to begin.
Let us all treat others the same way that we would like to be treated and move forward together as a unified state.
State Rep. Lee Chatfield, R-Levering, represents the 107th District.