In the last 24 hours I have read about (another) set of “famous” pastors leaving the pulpit because they were caught. There were allegations of mishandling money, affairs and other issues that had come to light (not all from one leader).
These stories keep coming to my doorstep.These are people in ministry who have given their lives to serving Christ, yet, they are falling down.The higher the pedestal the harder they seem to fall.Those with a name make the news. However, there is barely a week that goes by when I am not talking to someone in ministry who has or is struggling with affairs, porn addiction, divorce, or some portion of their life crumbling at the seams.
It has made me truly evaluate my own heart and the reality that I too am one step away from making these decisions. My heart breaks because none of us are immune to something like this happening, no NOT one.
What can I do to “protect” myself and my family?
1. Know I Am Never That Important:
We say something someone likes and it just might go viral. We might have a little idea that lots of people like for today. John Acuff wrote a post last week, HERE on “Why Some Christian Leaders Fail.” He made the point that God is never “handcuffed by our failure or unleashed by our success.” Basically, God being glorified isn’t contingent on us.The Lord may choose to use me in a way that reaches multitudes. He may decide in my whole life I pour into one person. In His eyes both are “successful.” It’s about knowing I’m His and being with Him. It’s easy to puff up our importance because today people like to hear what we have to say.
2. Ask, “Is This Best For My Family Right Now?”
There are a lot of people talking about soul care, marriage and family ministry these days. All of these would say to, “Put your relationship with God first, take care of your family and then do ministry.” Unfortunately, the model follows with them traveling and speaking, AWAY from their family A LOT of the time. Maybe this works for them. However, it doesn’t for my family, or honestly for many of us. I had someone tell me recently if I really wanted my coaching and training to “take off” then I had to commit to taking all speaking engagements that come my way. I have done that, and it didn’t work for us. I have met many spouses of those busy in ministry who are miserable, but feel “guilty” admitting it. Just because something is an awesome opportunity doesn’t mean it is best for you, your relationship with Christ, or your family.
3. Honestly, Is Ministry My God?
We can be out “doing” for God 7 nights a week. I recently was asked to interview with a church that required “6 days of work.” You know what, I have done that without it being a requirement. There was a time when I was out almost every night until 9:00 or 10:00 p.m. We never ate dinner as a family, I was exhausted, and I rarely saw my husband. I felt like I had to do more, be more, and offer more in the guise of “ministry.” That was until my husband sat me down and said, “You are losing us. Who is your God in this-Christ or what you do for Him?” I am thankful he called me out before he was so fed up it was “over.” I am also grateful I heard him.
The busier we are the easier it is to go through the motions, with our relationship with Christ. Our own importance can “go to our head” as they say. We can think, “That person is so public how could this happen?” I think the larger the scope the easier it is to hide our sins. Accountability systems are KEY. Who in your life is in your face asking you how you and Jesus are doing? Who will you listen to? Most important are you willing to admit that ANY of us are susceptible to ANY sin at ANY time? It only takes one choice.Think Adam and Eve.One choice.
I can’t reiterate enough how close we all are to choosing to walk away from Christ, instead of with Him.There are a variety of reasons. However, I think we have to start with being aware that we may never make the news, but we just might lose everything. None of us are immune.The wide gate which leads to destruction, never becomes less appealing. Instead, it has a really attractive wrapper. If it didn’t, we wouldn’t be falling.
What are you doing to protect yourself from choosing the wrong path?
Leneita / @leneitafix