(Article first published as Even General Petraeus is Not Above Human Failure on Technorati)
Since General David Petraeus resigned as CIA director last week, citing an extramarital affair, this thing has been all over the news. For journalists, the timing could not have been better. After all, the presidential election was over, and the news media needed something else hot to talk about, and they are definitely doing that.Turns out that the person General Petraeus had the affair with was his young and attractive biographer Paula Broadwell.
What a sad way to end an otherwise enviable career for the four-star general who faithfully served our country in the military for over 37 years, before serving as CIA director. He referred to the incident as "extremely poor judgment." I agree. The Bible also calls it sin.But let's face it; men and women engage in illicit affairs every day--even preachers do. Of course, what makes the Petraeus-affair such big news is because it involves a four-star general. It involves the then-CIA director. If this was only Joe Blow down the street who was involved in an illicit affair it would not even make the local news. It would be no more than neighborhood gossip.
That brings me to the subject of human failure. True, to whom much is given much is required. We should expect the conduct and judgment of our CIA director to be on a much higher level than that of the average citizen. Even as I write, there are concerns as to whether or not any intelligence breaches have resulted or will result from General Petraeus' indiscretion.But the truth is that no matter what position a person holds, no matter what degree of trust is placed in a person, and no matter how damaging the consequences of human failure may be, not one of us is above human failure. The Petraeus-affair underscores this reality.
People in high places who have been vested with power know temptation on a much more intense level than the rest of us do. That does not make their wrongs justifiable. It's just a statement of fact. Accordingly, we must seriously pray for our leaders. Yes, they need God's help just like the rest of us do, perhaps even more.
Copyright ©2012 by Frank King. All rights reserved.