LIVING A LIFE OF LOVE: THE DEFENSE AGAINST FAILURE
Recently, I have been working privately with some very difficult situations involving pastors who have made mistakes in judgment and behavior.
The high profile situations of Tiger Woods, Larry King and Sandra Bullock’s husband, Jesse James, get the headlines. But, the misadventures of clergy failure have a shelf life that lasts for decades. There is a sense of mystery and curiosity that surrounds a sports figure or entertainment personality. But, for obvious reasons, when it is a religious leader, there is even greater disgust and disappointment. Like ripples in a stream, the fallout of the failure just keeps moving from one person to the next.
For years, I have been teaching that there are at least three things that lead to a failure, regardless of the category.
- Limited time alone with the Lord
- Unresolved issues at home
- Inadequate accountability
I can hear some of you groaning now. But, trust me, what I tell you is the truth. We can point to example after example that we have documented through our Pastoral Ministries division that gives support to our premise.
The other side of the issue is how it happens. I have thought about that, as well. I believe such things as the following contribute to failing morally:
- Counseling too much
- Fatigue or burnout
- Spiritual defeat
- Unresolved issues from childhood
The list is endless, but the upside of all of this is that failure need not be. From this day forward, there wouldn’t need to be one more failure experienced. How? Fall in love! That’s right! Fall in love with your Lord — fall in love with your spouse — fall in love with your call. If you love deeply, you will do all in your power to avoid disappointing those who love you. Too simple? I don’t think so. Paul would write in Eph. 5:1-2, “Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children and live a life of love.”
Now, read Eph. 5:3-5 — Interesting.
There’s a lot of wisdom in Pastor London’s comments. Pour over his suggestions and make necessary changes. Who knows when YOU (Or I) might run our SUV into a tree outside our home at two in the morning and all our skeletons spill into the street?! “Whatever happens conduct yourself in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Jesus Christ” (Philippians 1:27)