The Face of Sin

November 6, 2006 — 2 Comments

Yesterday Ted Haggard confessed–through a letter read to his congregation–that he was guilty of “sexual immorality.” You can read Ted’s letter and a letter from his wife, Gayle, on New Life’s website: http://www.newlifechurch.org/

This is a sad event . . . and a reminder.

A picture from the front page of the newspaper in Colorado Springs spoke 1000’s of words to me.

What do you see when you look at this picture?

Do you know what I see? I see the face of sin.

Not Ted’s. His wife and kids.

Look at the faces of his wife and two sons.

We now know that Ted was lying when this picture was taken. He has a slight smile on his face, which stands out in stark contrast to the pain evident on the faces of his wife and children.

When we look at the faces of Ted Haggard’s wife and children we see the face of sin. They are the forgotten, silent, and innocent victims of sin and I don’t ever want to forget how it feels to look at the hurt, disappointment, and shocked expressions on their faces.

And, I don’t want you to either.

Men, think about their expressions the next time you are tempted to visit a pornographic website.

Wives, think about their expressions the next time you are tempted to converse with another man in a chat room.

Preachers, we need to see their faces when we are tempted to pursue a relationship beyond the covenant barriers of our marriage.

Elders, you must see their faces when you are tempted to avoid a confrontation with a Christian leader over real, or perceived, improper behavior.

We can’t hide our sin forever.

We must fight for our purity.

We must seek out Christian accountability relationships.

Christian leaders must not be exalted.

Christian leaders must not be allowed to be isolated.

We must be praying for each other.

We must pray for our leaders.

We have the courage to confront sin–yours, mine, and ours.

This is not a game, a show, or a popularity contest; this is a spiritual war.

We are not animals.

Christian men and women: We must stop looking at pornography on the internet. We must stop visiting chat rooms for inappropriate behavior. We must guard what we look at, listen to, touch, taste, and indulge in. We must protect the sanctity of our marriages. We must consistently do the right thing. We must make wise choices. We must “seek first his kingdom and his righteousness” (Mt. 6:33).

We must look into the eyes of Gayle Haggard and her children and never forget what sin looks like.

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2 responses to The Face of Sin

  1. 

    Amen. On one hand it is a sad day to know how many will not understand that Ted was just a man caught up in sin and how this event will shape a negative perception of the church and the idea of hypocrisy they may perceive within it. On the other hand, it is a day I think we should rejoice in. It’s a day that Ted no longer has to hide. He can now hopefully reexamine himself and begin to heal. It’s a day were I hope spiritual leaders, as well as lay people, will asses their convictions and whether their lives match the words they teach. I think all in all God has some amazing way of taking circumstances like this and making them benefit His kingdom. On one hand I am angry at Ted for his deceit but on the other I trust God enough to let Him work it all out.

  2. 

    Good perspective Aaron. As the title of one book on the subject of sexual temptation declares, this is “Every Man’s Battle.”

    The tools that I have found effective for consistent victory over sexual temptation are not new:
    1) Daily prayer and scripture
    2) Daily commitment to guard one’s eyes.
    3) Commitment to conflict resolution within our own marriages (as opposed to conflict avoidance)
    4) DAILY accountability and transparency with a like-minded brother.

    I’m afraid that last one is the kicker for a lot of men. We’re too proud and insecure to be honest with another believer about what we truly struggle with. I thank God for my accountability partner.

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