Hardly a day goes by that I don’t read about some well-known movie star, a sport standout or successful businessman who has cheated on his wife or acted inappropriately with some woman (or women) to whom he’s not married. The “Me-Too-Movement” is bringing more of this to light, but it has undoubtedly been going on for a long, long time.
Recently I read Proverb 6:32 in the NLT where it says: ”The man who commits adultery is an utter fool, for he destroys himself.”
It is even more sad when this happens to a nationally/internationally known Christian leader which we have also been seeing a fair amount of lately. It is disheartening to read about a leader in the body of Christ who, through some very poor and unfortunate choices, has not only become an “utter fool” but can contribute to those following him to become jaded, and deeply wounded over this significant breach of trust.
There are people following that leader who, from that point on, vow to never again trust a Christian leader. My heart just breaks when I hear this. With some it is the second or third time this has happened. Our enemy is rejoicing.
As most of you know I coach Christian leaders and have been doing so for 18 years. It troubles me greatly when I think of the number of those I have coached, and am coaching, who struggle with some form of sexual addiction and are consistently and constantly losing the battle.
Some have actually physically committed adultery or are regularly doing so in their minds due to what they watch, listen to, or read. My sense is that this kind of, what I am calling “Sexual Stupidity,” can not only destroy the leader himself, but can also destroy a marriage, kids and an otherwise fruitful ministry. Some leaders never bounce back from this and are scarred and damaged for the rest of their life.
The enemy has a mission, which is to destroy Christian leaders (1 Peter 5:8). Luring us into sexual stupidity is one of his best and most proven tools of accomplishing this.
In addition to Proverb 6:32 we find this in Proverb 7:23,24 in the NLT:
“He followed her at once, like an ox going to the slaughter. He was like a stag caught in a trap, awaiting the arrow that would pierce its heart. He was like a bird flying into a snare, little knowing it would cost him his life.”
That’s pretty descriptive of what’s happening: costing him his life, his marital life, his parental life, his emotional life, and his ministry life. I have known, or known of, Christian leaders who having once stepped into that trap, got hit by that arrow, flown into that snare walked into that slaughter and have never returned; indeed, paying the price of loosing your life in a myriad of ways.
Recently I have begun to pray for a number of Christian leaders who I personally know: That they would be kept pure and far away from this kind of behavior through the power of the Holy Spirit, knowing full-well what the ultimate price tag could be.
Lust in its various forms is a battle that every man fights at one time or the other. Some seem to never experience victory in this fight and are constantly leveled by blows from the enemy.
I am not about to give you a simple formula for having victory in this area, but let me close by sharing this from Romans 6:12, 13 in The Message Paraphrase:
“That means you must not give sin a vote in the way you conduct your lives. Don’t give it the time of day. Don’t even run little errands that are connected with that old way of life. Throw yourselves wholeheartedly and full-time—remember you’ve been raised from the dead!—into God’s way of doing things.”
These two verses have been of tremendous help to me, as I am, by his grace asking him daily and minute by minute to remind me that I am raised to a new life in Jesus and therefore don’t have to give sin (sexual sin in particular) a vote, the time of day or run little errands on behalf of the enemy’s voice in my mind when he says things like:
- Go ahead, nobody will know
- Everybody does it; it’s no big deal
- There’s no harm, and God will forgive you
- You’re only human after all and nobody’s perfect
At times I will ask a coaching client who really struggles in this area—in what ways are you giving sin a vote, the time of day or running little errands? I am more and more hearing, “Thank you Jesus, I didn’t give sin a vote today.” What are you currently doing or practicing that is giving sin a vote?
Who is that person(s) you can share with when you are on the brink of committing sexual stupidity and knowingly or unknowingly stepping in that trap? Don’t wait. It’s not worth the wait or the consequences. The price tag is huge!