The human condition includes the human contradiction and contrition. We are flawed! No amount of effort, education, or etiquette can fully remove all our flaws. The flaws are fundamentally spiritual and require a fundamentally spiritual solution.
We may have physical flaws. These can be categorized in a nearly infinite manner. Someone’s physical flaws are someone’s else’s beauty marks. A fatal physical flaw would be something deadly to the physical existence. Even very dangerous flaws may be survivable or treatable, but a fatal flaw would be irreversible short of a miracle.
In spiritual terms, a fatal flaw is more about something we refuse to take the Cross. Jesus had no spiritual flaws and took His flawless soul to the Cross as our eternal substitute. He finished something on the Cross universal and eternal: “there is no other sacrifice for sin.” The Cross guarantees full treatment and healing of every spiritual flaw in route to a someday eternal treatment of physical flaws.
Fatal flaws, therefore, are issues we haven’t taken to the Cross else these conditions of the soul would be healed. Anything that is deadly spiritually can be healed through the power of the Cross. We may remain a work in progress with other flaws, especially imperfections that arise because we are not yet glorified, limitations because we are and always will be “human.” God helps us with our infirmities or limitations; He does something much different with fatal flaws: radical surgery.
The wreckage of leaders and lives strewn along the highway testify of fatal flaws left to produce deadly conditions and consequences. When the death comes, we hear the stories and realize that something was at work that should have been dealt with, could have been dealt with, and finally was dealt with in a very painful and destructive way. We hear that leaders or people have struggled with this thing for years, experienced some good days and bad days, tried several things that seemed to help but didn’t solve the problem, etc.
For me, the common denominator for these stories the substitution of personal diagnosis, prescription, and treatment for the power of the Cross and the power of the Spirit. And, the common denominator of these stories and millions like them involves the strength of will to surrender to the work of Christ at some level deeper than the person in question can go. Fatal flaws cannot be trained, redirected, ignored, or covered up. They must be cut out!
I have known tremendously gifted and anointed leaders and people with fatal flaws they are unwillingly to take to the Cross. They spent years becoming strong enough to survive them – a deadly deception – so they think their own strength and strategy will keep them safe. They fail to understand that the strength to survive is far inferior to the strength of will to surrender. That level of trust, to get on God’s operating table for radical surgery, does not become available to them because they substitute their own coping mechanisms for redemptive experiences.
A great teacher or preacher ministers to thousands, writes books, and builds a great ministry only to fall in the prime of his leadership to a besetting sin that he has worked to control instead of surrender to the Cross. The fallout is massive! The questions pile up. The answers to the questions create more questions instead of answers.