yesterday i posted some thoughts about a pastor/blogger who lost his voice due to some sin left unchecked in his life. it’s a danger NONE of us are beyond and ALL of us could fall to. and it’s why paul says in 1 corinthians 9:26-27:
Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air. No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.
unfortunately, i’ve recently heard of a number of fellow pastors sidelined due to sin – one i went to college with… so so sad. for me, when i hear these pain-filled stories, i want it to be more than tabloids and news: i want it to motivate me and remind me of some things we all know but too often forget. here’s what i do:
- PRAY. i get away for a minute or two to simply pray for all involved. sin is never done in a vacuum, and it never just affects you. it leaves a trail of carnage, and digging from the rubble takes churches and families years. i pray for the individual(s) at fault and the restoration process, for their families, spouses, and kids, and for the church leaders and members, as well as the church’s community.
- PRINT. whenever things like this happen, there’s usually a press release or news articles. the sad reality is that you can google the person’s name and the links that come up first are not their great accomplishments in ministry, but the one careless act that took them out of the game. i print the articles, read them, and stick them in a folder that i keep in my bag. from time to time, i’ll read through all the articles to remind myself of the ugliness of this all.
- PAUSE. i then pause for introspection and ask God to reveal to me areas of weakness in my own life. again, none of us are too far from this, and we must remind ourselves that we’re not as strong as we think we are. i try to pause long enough to see the faces of the people i love and have built into, and the shock that would come to their life if that news article was about me.