I love this cartoon! It’s a brilliant insight into the very heart of choices and results. We live in a world that wants the freedom to do as we wish, but with those choices are always consequences. In the moment it might seem that things are wonderful, but choices always have consequences.
Often, as I meet with people in their crisis, I hear these words, “Why did God do this to me?” They are sincere in their question and are clueless to the reality that many times what has happened is the result of their own choices….it’s not God, it’s them.
Choices and consequences. One you make, the other you don’t. You can control your choices, but you can’t control your consequences. I wonder, if we knew this as a reality in our lives, if our choices would change.
When a pastor sins there are choices he has made that fulfill a need, a lust, a desire, but beyond the choice circumstances will follow that he can’t control. The church he pastors will be hurt, lives will be changed, some will abandon their faith in disappointment and still more will simply stop going to church. Trust is broken, the work of God in the pastor’s life is crippled and often so are the people in his flock.
Choices and consequences. Consider the results of your choices pastors. Will you give up all that God wants to do in your life for a choice of sin? Will you live for the moment forgetting there will be consequences that will affect countless lives? “I’ve never felt so alive!” will soon be followed by “If only I could undo what I have done.”
A new year. A fresh start. Promises of new things. The new year offers the promise of new beginnings. When we deal with the crisis of a pastor’s fall it seems that things will never get better, never improve, but they do! With the beginning of a new year I’m seeing some wonderful signs of rebirth, change, hope. Time and the work of God are wonderful. Over time the faces change, the scars heal, the pain diminishes, memories fade. Over time our church is healing. I wondered if I would ever see it, but I think I’m beginning to see hope, sunshine, better days. The price has been high. The process has been difficult, but I think I see a sunrise on the horizon.
There is hope. God will work. Don’t give up. In spite of what has happened in your church you will begin to see a fresh reviving of God’s work in the lives of people around you. It will take time, but it will happen.