An Army of Colsons

Charles Colson died today.

The Washington Post shamefully headlined his obituary, "Charles Colson, Nixon’s ‘dirty tricks’ man, dies at 80." The headline ignored nearly forty years of the man's inspirational and influential life since he committed crimes related to the Watergate scandal. He became a follower of Jesus, pleaded guilty, and after serving a prison term, started Prison Fellowship, a ministry to prisoners and others around the world. Colson turned his biggest failure into a God-glorifying triumph that changed the lives of many.

What if everyone did that? What if, say, starting now, every one of us took our most miserable, humiliating failure in life as an opportunity for God to do through us what he did through Charles Colson? What if everyone who has ever served time ministered to those who are serving time? What if every shattered marriage produced a person who is passionate about preventing or healing shattered marriages? What if every recovered addict became a rescuer of other addicts? What if every person whose pride, bitterness, or gossip has ever split a church devoted himself or herself to preserving and restoring unity in the church?

What if my greatest failure is what God wants to use to bring about glory for himself and blessing for me? What if your greatest disappointment in life is something God longs to use? What if God unleashed hundreds--or thousands--of Charles Colsons on this earth?

Or even more?


  1. Yes, that was SHAMEFUL on the part of the Post. What if each of us was remembered for our worst sin or biggest blunder, even if it no longer defined our lives?

  2. Great post, Bob! Inspires me to keep serving the Lord the best I can in His strength.


  3. Thank you for this thought-provoking tribute to our brother in Christ. Let it be an action-provoking tribute as well.