It’s been awhile since I’ve written a blog. Life has been a bit of a blur, and to be honest, I just haven’t made the time to sit down to write. But in light of the many accounts of sexual abuse allegations that have blown up the Internet, news organizations and social media platforms alike – Matt Lauer being the latest in a long list of high-profile people accused – I thought it might be worth taking a few minutes to put some thoughts on paper.
First, to the brave women (and men) who have been victimized and have found the courage to speak out and share what has happened to you – THANK YOU! Thank you for facing your pain and maybe your fear and for sharing your stories. Thank you for bringing attention (i.e. shining light) onto an issue that has festered and flourished in the darkness for far too long.
Your voice matters! You. Matter.
In Luke 12:2-3 we read: “There is nothing covered up that will not be revealed, and hidden that will not be known. Accordingly, whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in the inner rooms will be proclaimed upon the housetops.”
Things done in darkness will eventually be exposed. At some point, we will ALL be held accountable for our actions. A day of reckoning will come.
And everyone who has ever been wronged shouted: AMEN!
Yet, even as I type this, I am intimately aware of how easy it is to fall into temptation. We are all fallible and vulnerable of slipping into the seductive sway of sin. It can start out so innocently: a longing look, the gentle click of a mouse, uncensored thoughts allowed to run rampant in our minds.
James 1:14-15 says: “but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. Then after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.
Temptation so often leads to sin. And sin leads to a thousand tiny deaths: emotional, relational, physical, and spiritual separation from God, others, and even from our authentic selves.
Perhaps this is why we are told in Proverbs 4:23, “above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
Our heart, in this context, represents the essence or core of who we are: our thoughts, motives, feelings, impulses, “our truest self” if you will. THIS is something that we MUST PROTECT, because it ultimately impacts everything we are and will do.
So how do we do protect our hearts?
Philippians 4:6 tells us: “…but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.”
2 Corinthians 10:5 says: “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought and make it obedient to Christ.”
2 Timothy 2:22 tells us to literally RUN from temptation and instead pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace.
If we want to guard our hearts, we need to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus and allow HIS truth to transform and renew our minds. (Romans 12:2.) And this isn’t a one time thing. It is something we must do continuously!
Along with confessing our needs and struggles to God, we may also need to confide in a trustworthy friend, pastor, or counselor, etc. This is such an important way to receive much-needed support and accountability in areas that may pose a persistent struggle in our lives.
Finally, if our sinful actions have caused pain for someone else, we need to do our absolute best to make things right. It’s vitally important that we repent of our wrongdoing and seek forgiveness.
I am so thankful that God is gracious and forgiving and has promised that if we confess our sins, He will cleanse us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9). Even so, there are often still consequences for our bad behavior. Just because we seek forgiveness, does not mean that there won’t be negative ramifications that follow our indiscretions.
God is gracious, but He is also JUST.
Remember, there IS a day of reckoning. This reckoning may be painful, but it’s absolutely necessary and important for everyone involved.
In light of current events, I don’t want to relish in the personal and professional demise of people who have obviously made poor choices that have hurt others. We can all be guilty of casting stones, but we are all also guilty of committing sins.
That being said, I am extremely grateful that the issue of abuse (sexual, physical, emotional, spiritual etc.) is receiving the attention it deserves. I am thankful that victims are finding their voices and I pray that they will continue to find strength and healing as they share their stories and realize that they are not alone.
I pray that sin, in ALL its ugly forms, will continue to be exposed and that proper justice will be served.
Finally, I pray that people who have made poor choices in the past, or are currently involved in unhealthy and hurtful behavior, would humbly acknowledge and repent of those sins. Let today, be a day of Holy Spirit inspired reckoning, where hearts and minds are changed and drawn from sin to the saving knowledge and grace of Jesus.
Thank you, Jesus, that you are a God who is both gracious AND just. Thank you that you specialize in mending broken hearts. And thank you, that despite how impossible it may seem, YOU have the ability to redeem and make all things new. Forgive us our sins and help us to forgive those who have sinned against us. Amen.