It is worth reflecting on the careers of two prominent political leaders whose careers came to an abrupt conclusion last year. All because they couldn’t discipline their sexual desires.
The mayor of San Diego lost his career, while a former congressman once considered the leading contender for the mayor’s seat in New York sank to the bottom of the polls after new allegations surfaced during the primary race. His political future appears to have little hope.
It might be easy to pass these off as aberrations, had we not seen numerous business, church and other leaders go through similar “flameouts” the past three decades.
Someone described idiocy as repeatedly doing the same thing but expecting different results. So all leaders who consider themselves immune to temptation should pay attention to what has happened to others—and Scripture.
A word to the wise.
A good portion of the first section of Proverbs counsels young men to avoid adultery and remain faithful to their wives.
It’s not surprising that King Solomon begins his book of wisdom with this subject because some of the smartest, richest, most influential people in the world have been ruined by illicit affairs. When their adultery is ultimately disclosed, the first reaction is not usually, “I have sinned,” but, “How could I have been so stupid?”
Solomon suggests several reasons why it’s wise for a young man to avoid sexual impurity. His wise counsel, sadly gained from first-hand experience, applies to both men and women.
1. Eventually, the adulteress will turn against you.
“For the lips of an adulteress drip honey, and her speech is smoother than oil; but in the end she is bitter as gall, sharp as a double-edged sword. Her feet go down to death; her steps lead straight to the grave” (Proverbs 5:3-5).
2. You waste a lot of energy and money.
“Keep to a path far from her, do not go near the door of her house, lest you give your best strength to others and your years to one who is cruel, lest strangers feast on your wealth and your toil enrich another man’s house” (verses 8-10).
3. You risk disease.
“At the end of your life you will groan, when your flesh and body are spent” (v. 11).