For everyone has sinned; we all fall short of God’s glorious standard (Romans 3:23 MSG).
"There are two kinds of people..."
How many times have you heard that phrase, followed by either a pithy aphorism or a gross oversimplification?
But wouldn't it be nice if humanity really could be easily divided into two neat categories? Givers and takers, haves and have-nots, winners and losers, dog people and cat people ... Usually, the arbitrary "either-or" which follows tells you more about the person choosing the classifications than about the general population she claims to be describing.
Nevertheless, and with fear and trembling, I propose that there really are two kinds of people: those who reconcile their bank statements to the penny each and every month, and those who are just grateful if the overdraft notice shows up within forty-eight hours of payday.
Without tipping my hand as to which category I'm in, let me just say that I'm all for accuracy, as long as it doesn't take on a life of its own. You know what I mean: the sort of uncompromising perfectionism that causes certain types to stay up until three AM trying to figure out why they're twelve cents long; those driven individuals to whom the CPA's concept of "materiality" is a sloppy excuse for inexactitude.
One is governed by law. The other relies on grace. It seems to me that these opposing archetypes illustrate two different approaches to life. One is unswervingly bent on doing it right, on following the rules and reading the installation manual. The other is just as well-intentioned, perhaps, but less linear. One insists on documenting and quantifying every transaction. The other tends to be a bit hazy about cause and effect, less punctilious about balancing the equation. The one is governed by law. The other relies on grace.
We all need to be able to write off the difference, to say, "close enough," and to forgive others' debts as our own are forgiven. And maybe that's the toughest part: to do for others what we all — whether we admit it or not — need to have done for ourselves. As it turns out, there's only one kind of people: the flawed kind.
And now, you'll have to excuse me. My bank statement just came, and I'm wondering how many checks I forgot to record...