Friday, February 7, 2014

Would you still do it?

I got to thinking about our story this week after I was asked by a friend of ours to share with his youth group next month. I got a bit nervous about the thought of standing in front of a group of 7th-12th graders, particularly because it will be the first time I have shared my story publicly. I have shared it privately numerous times, but this is a step up.

I am excited about it and am grateful for the opportunity, so I pray that I will be able to clearly communicate the cost of sin AND the power and grace of God despite my sin. I also hope I don't cry like a big baby! It's still very sensitive in many ways, which is good because I never want it to become stale or impersonal. I also don't want there to be shame attached to it; remorse, sorrow but not unhealthy shame.

I am not sure what all I am going to tell them, but one question I am thinking about asking is this:
If someone told you that a decision you were making or were about to make would cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars, hurt your loved ones deeply, hurt yourself, dishonor the LORD, ruin your reputation, cost you friendships, bring shame to your name, and take years to recovery from, would you still do it? 
If the answer is yes, then that exposes all sorts of problems: addiction, pride, lost soul, ignorance, etc. If no, then you will spare yourself a lot of grief and heartache.

Well, for me, all of those consequences occurred. I lost several years of income, lost friends, hurt loved ones deeply, hurt myself, dishonored God's name, ruined my reputation and have had two and a half years of painful recovery. At the same time, I have experienced the grace of God in more ways than I can count. I have gained new friendships, restored my relationship with my wife, started rebuilding my career, grown personally and spiritually in ways I never fathomed, and hopefully am starting to deepen my faith in Christ that will keep me on the path of righteousness and faithfulness for my remaining days on Earth.

I wish I would have taken seriously the HUGE consequences that would occur by going down the path of betrayal and adultery. I was so foolish, selfish, prideful, ignorant, and weak. Thank God for His grace, discipline, love, forgiveness, and Holy Spirit.

So, my recovery journey needs to be balanced. I keep the past in mind and remember the pain I caused and the areas I neglected personally and spiritually. I look to the future with hope and confidence. I live in the present and try to live life to the fullest, delighting in the Lord and allowing Him to teach me, lead me, fill me and heal me. God is good.
Psalm 37:3-4 (NASB) 
Trust in the LORD and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness. Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart.

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