What we accept by default becomes our standard.
Play by the rules? Seriously. Who's rules? Sounds fishy to me.

Forgiveness. How powerful is it? My human nature and abundant curiosity has me associate former President Clinton with the Monica Lewinsky sex scandal. For goodness sakes, the President and an intern. How is that remotely acceptable?

And yet, we have found the grace and mercy (or maybe we are just numb) to forgive the leader of the United States of America. It seems the good he did outweighed, and still outweighs, the bad. He’s a lucky man.

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By jeff noel

Retired Disney Institute Keynote Speaker and Prolific Blogger. Five daily, differently-themed personal blogs (about life's 5 big choices) on five interconnected sites.


  1. Jeff,

    As Americans overall, I think we have become a fickle group. I am like you – my mind tends to gravitate towards the inappropriate activities the former President engaged in while in office. It wasn’t acceptable by any stretch of the imagination. But by and large, most people have a tendency to be more tolerant of bad behavior when the overall economy appears to be flourishing. During his presidency, the economy was doing well, and it was before we really entered into a global war on terrorism. So people easily separated the President’s job performance (based on the economy) from his personal aggressions.

    However, I think America would not have been as tolerant if the economy had been bad or if we had been at war. Then, as we have seen over the past 10+ years, every personal action becomes fodder for an indictment of a bad job performance evaluation.

    I guess it all comes down to being in the right place at the right time. 🙂


  2. Bob, interesting perspective. I think the way you’ve described it is how it would have gone down.

    The trap here is that whether the economy is good or bad, there are behaviors unbecoming. Period.

    Everyone deserves forgiveness. Everyone.

  3. Jeff,

    I agree – I am so glad I didn’t get the justice I deserved for my sins. God gives mercy when I deserved justice. That’s for the personal perspective of the heart – the piece that is most important.

    Yes, the job deserved much more respect than the unbecoming behavior, whether the economy is good or bad. That’s when the “fitness” of someone in a position of authority comes into question.


  4. Bob, another insight I hadn’t considered (thank you). From your insight, we can clearly see why Bill Clinton (the man) deserved as much grace as you and I have been granted.

  5. The latest theme on my blog involving presidential quotes culminates next Tuesday with our current Commander in Chief. I have a variety of readers that span the political spectrum and several of them have asked how I was going to say something nice. It is my hope that I’m able to share the goodness that exists in all of us and, no matter how unworthy we may be, God’s grace does extend to everyone.

  6. David, we often forget how tremendously unworthy we are. Every last one of us. The common grace and mercy we are granted is the tip of the iceberg for God’s never-ending Love for us, every last one of us. Looking forward to tomorrow’s post. 🙂

  7. When I find it difficult to forgive I recite the Lord’s Prayer I which we ask for the same forgiveness that we extend to others. I pray for forgiveness everyday. Part of receiving God’s grace is found in forgiving others.

  8. Patty, this may sound weird, but the more I forgive, the deeper I forgive…the easier and quicker it becomes.

    It’s like running, or reading, or sewing, or singing..the more we do it, the easier it becomes. Theoretically anyway.

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