Why do we say “I’m only human”?

The major project I’m working on these days is about humanity. One of the key themes I’m covering is the value and dignity of humanity in light of who God has created us to be.

How often do we denigrate and devalue humanity? Some of us, particularly  in the church, tend to regard humanity as basically worthless or incapable of doing things that can appropriately be called “good.”Fred B. Craddock

I came across this passage in reading a book of sermons by Fred B. Craddock. He gives valuable advice. I think some of you need to hear this:

 Now we don’t want any of that stuff like, ‘We’re only human.’ I’m sick of that. A shortstop catches the ball without mistake 300 times and finally he drops it and somebody says, ‘Only human.’ What was he when he made the play? She bakes a cake eight inches tall, beautiful. Then the church has a fellowship dinner so she wants to outdo herself. She makes one, looks like the sole of your shoe. ‘Well, I’m only human,’ she says. What was she when the cakes were eight inches tall? When the singer climbs the silver stairs and leaves every note as clear as the morning dew, what do people say? ‘Oh, that was wonderful.’ If her voice cracks, ‘Well, she’s only human.’ Why, why, why do we say we’re human when we make a mistake? Weren’t you made in God’s image? Don’t ever say, don’t ever say, ‘I’m only human.’ When somebody says, ‘That was beautiful,’ you say, ‘Well, after all, I’m human. When somebody says, ‘Best I’ve ever eaten,’ you say, ‘After all, I’m human.’ When somebody says, ‘That was a beautiful prayer today,’ you say, ‘Well, after all, I’m human.’ Would you do that? (The Collected Sermons of Fred B. Craddock, 36)


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