Sunday, November 05, 2006

A Heavy Heart

I always struggle with disillusionment whenever it is revealed that a major Christian leader has been living a double life. The last few months have just brought on more of that than I am used to. The latest, of course, has been highly-publicized (all over national news) because Pastor Ted Haggard was the president of a national evangelical organization. You can read Haggard's statement that was read to his congregation this morning on New Life Church's website here. I am thankful that the church's leadership has dealt with Haggard's moral failure quickly and graciously, but it still weighs heavily on my heart for two reasons. One, I am scared that too many of our spiritual shepherds have become isolated because they believe (rightly or wrongly) that people will not respect their leadership if they know what really goes on in their hearts and minds. Barie and I have had many conversations over the last few days about this very thing - is there someone in each of our lives that we can be totally transparent with? Is there someone who can get to know the depths of our depravity and still show us grace and love? I think very few of us have those type of relationships, and the Enemy uses that to his advantage.

The second reason that my heart is heavy over this whole deal is the realization that we can become so deceived in our sin to believe 1) that we'll never get caught, 2) that what we are doing is not really that bad, and 3) that we can continue to teach and read God's Word while living in open sin. I know that Jeremiah 17:9 that the heart is deceitful above all else, but I still don't think I realize how deceived I can become. I hope and pray for all those in Christian leadership that they have men and women around them who can help them see their deception, and that they have soft hearts to hear correction and repent. I also pray for my own heart, that God will change it and redeem my desires. I'm realizing all over again that changing behavior is empty if the heart is not transformed as well.

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