The enemy delights in the downfall of Christian leaders and works 24/7 in his temptations and snares to bring disrepute to Christ and His people by targeting pastors and other leaders. Moreover, the heartache and fallout from the moral failure of a Christian leader is deep and broad, sometimes lasting for decades, or even a lifetime. The best way to avoid all this shame and heartache is before it happens. Pure prevention is the best policy.
Considering these things, I wanted to reflect on a resource that I wrote a number of years ago. After seeing the devastation of a moral failure, as I followed a predecessor who committed adultery, I was motivated to think of as many reasons as possible as to why we should avoid that path. I hope it will be a good reminder for us all. Feel free to pass it on to others.
40 Reasons Why I Do Not Want to Commit Adultery
1. I would violate my relationship with my Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ, who has loved, cared and died for me. This action would disregard the selfless and cruel death He suffered in order to give me power over this sin.
2. I would bring public shame and unnecessary disrepute to His most holy and precious name, which I have been privileged to represent.
3. I would have to someday face my gracious Savior, eye to eye at His judgment seat, giving an account for willfully squandering His abundant provision of purifying grace. At that moment of eternal consequences I would inevitably witness the results of my own disregard for the rewards of faithfulness and obedience He so desired to give to me.
4. I would choose to submit myself to a destructive process of self-deception and the dulling of my conscience, causing a lack of confidence in my future ability to walk in obedience and faith.
5. I would inflict unimaginable pain on my wife—my best friend, and my faithful and sacrificial partner in ministry and life—and would have to stare into her tear-filled eyes to explain this conscious violation of my vows and describe the stupidity of my behavior.
6. I would permanently damage my wife’s ability to trust me or believe my word. I would lose her respect in the future, giving her constant cause for suspicion and question.
7. If my pattern of deception were to continue, or if she were unable to forgive me, I would lose her as my wife and would be left to face ongoing regret, loneliness and pain.
8. In this case, I would permanently ruin my wife’s future fulfillment, causing her to face the remainder of her life feeling the struggle of rejection and dealing with the complications of single parenting or remarriage.
9. I would violate the love and trust of my precious children. In essence, I would be telling them, “Your mother is not a worthy person. Your father is a liar and a cheat. Honor is not as important as pleasure. My own selfish satisfaction is more important than loving my children.”
10. By destroying my own example and credibility with my children, I would lose future opportunities to influence them toward loving obedience and holiness and would plant within them a potential long-term resentment and bitterness toward the Lord and the ministry.