Vet - v. vet·ted, vet·ting, vets. To subject to thorough examination or evaluation; to appraise, verify, or check for accuracy, authenticity, validity, etc.
Over the past several years I have heard the term ‘vetted’ creep in to political commentaries and analyses on various media outlets. I surmised the meaning of the word based on how it was used in said commentaries and analyses. Lately, this term has been used extensively in light of the recent Presidential election.
I can certainly understand why this process might be necessary when selecting individuals to serve in powerful, high-ranking positions in the government. It makes sense that one wouldn’t want someone on their staff or the government payroll who was an out-and-out criminal. Of course, the vetting process for cabinet level positions includes not only examination and evaluation of the individual’s experience, abilities and public record, but also investigates their person al life and how they have conducted themselves in their daily living.
It’s distressing and disappointing to me when individuals in whom I had confidence are vetted and unsavory, unethical, or at a minimum, questionable behaviors and activities come to light. Do these individuals not realize that in this day and age, just about everything we do or say, or have ever done or said, will be fair game in the vetting process? Why would one subject oneself to public humiliation knowing they have some issue in their lives that will exempt them from being on the ‘short list’?
Do you think these individuals are delusional? Are they so jaded they don’t consider their small misdeeds or misstatements to be inappropriate enough to merit a mention on the evening news? Does one become so out of touch with how the average man or woman lives that they begin to lose sight of the very values they adhered to when they began their careers? Have their goals changed over time? Do the disappointments and defeats of their jobs tarnish their view of right and wrong?
Do they exchange a belief that God provides all things for those who trust in Him, to a belief system based upon who has the most power, influence and political capital? These are not failings of only politicians. One only need look at the financial institutions that have recently been bailed out by the government. We see it even in small companies, civic associations, private organizations and even in our churches.
I could really get worked up about this whole situation. I’m disappointed and disheartened that so many good people have made such (seemingly) foolish and down-right stupid decisions in their past. But wait a minute. Who am I to judge them? Yes, I can raise my voice to say, “I don’t want that person representing me,” or “I don’t want that person advising the one in power.” But is it really right or just for me to judge them as human beings?
Am I not flawed and broken? Do I not act foolishly, even stupidly on any given day, or even in any given hour? Who am I to say what disqualifies someone else from receiving the same salvation for which I strive? How is it that I forget my own sins so readily when considering the sins of others?
If I were to be vetted by God, I don’t think the report would be nearly as promising and upright as I would wish. In fact, I’m sure it would be disappointing and disheartening not only to me, but to God as well.
Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near [me] with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men: [Isaiah 29:13]
Which say, Stand by thyself, come not near to me; for I am holier than thou. These [are] a smoke in my nose, a fire that burneth all the day. [Isaiah 65:5]
And he said unto them, Ye are they which justify yourselves before men; but God knoweth your hearts: for that which is highly esteemed among men is abomination in the sight of God. [Luke 16:15]