Saturday, July 04, 2009

The Cost of Adultery

A year doesn’t seem to go by without someone in ministry or the church confessing or being caught in the sin of adultery. It is a serious problem with serious consequences. So often people get to this point slowly, compromise by compromise. Often, by the time one gets there, they are consumed by their emotions and unable or unwilling to contemplate the destructive consequences of their actions. Surely there is hope for forgiveness and recovery, but more often then not the costs are great and lasting. Years ago Randy Alcorn assembled the following list as a reminder of the consequences he would face as a Pastor if he chose the path of adultery. It is a good and sobering reminder that there is a cost for every action. Lord helps us all to stay faithful!

Personalized List of Anticipated Consequences of Immorality

  • Grieving my Lord; displeasing the One whose opinion most matters.
  • Dragging into the mud Christ's sacred reputation.
  • Loss of reward and commendation from God.
  • Having to one day look Jesus in the face at the judgment seat and give an account of why I did it. Forcing God to discipline me in various ways.
  • Following in the footsteps of men I know of whose immorality forfeited their ministry and caused me to shudder. List of these names:
  • Suffering of innocent people around me who would get hit by my shrapnel (a la Achan).
  • Untold hurt to Nanci, my best friend and loyal wife.
  • Loss of Nanci's respect and trust.
  • Hurt to and loss of credibility with my beloved daughters, Karina and Angela. ("Why listen to a man who betrayed Mom and us?")
  • If my blindness should continue or my family be unable to forgive, I could lose my wife and my children forever.
  • Shame to my family. (The cruel comments of others who would invariably find out.)
  • Shame to my church family.
  • Shame and hurt to my fellow pastors and elders. List of names:
  • Shame and hurt to my friends, and especially those I've led to Christ and discipled. List of names:
  • Guilt awfully hard to shake—even though God would forgive me, would I forgive myself?
  • Plaguing memories and flashbacks that could taint future intimacy with my wife.
  • Disqualifying myself after having preached to others.
  • Surrender of the things I am called to and love to do—teach and preach and write and minister to others. Forfeiting forever certain opportunities to serve God. Years of training and experience in ministry wasted for a long period of time, maybe permanently.
  • Being haunted by my sin as I look in the eyes of others, and having it all dredged up again wherever I go and whatever I do.
  • Undermining the hard work and prayers of others by saying to our community "this is a hypocrite—who can take seriously anything he and his church have said and done?"
  • Laughter, rejoicing and blasphemous smugness by those who disrespect God and the church (2 Samuel 12:14).
  • Bringing great pleasure to Satan, the Enemy of God.
  • Heaping judgment and endless problems on the person I would have committed Possible diseases (pain, constant reminder to me and my wife, possible infection of Nanci, or in the case of AIDS, even causing her death, as well as mine.)
  • Possible pregnancy, with its personal and financial implications.
  • Loss of self-respect, discrediting my own name, and invoking shame and lifelong embarrassment upon myself.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I read through the list of reasons in regards to adultry and agreed with everything he said.
Are you familar with Jon and Kate Gosslin. They had a T.V. show on LTC (The Learning CHannel) about their twin girls and then had six (two sets of triplets). They aired the show for four years. Suddlenly, the poperazy started following them and word got around that they were having marital problmes. Unfortunatelyl, the tabloids wrote all kinds of things about them. Some may have been true but still not worthy of it being published. Well, the month of June they finally told the world a good portion of what was going on with their marriage. On June 22 Kate filed a divorce. They "professed" to be Christians and some of their shows had inklings of it but not in totality. It is so sad to see this. With eight children it is going to be hard for them but primarily for the the children. Jon said on camera that he has not been unfaithful to Kate. I could tell you more but it is not necessary. I pray for this family that God through the power of the Holy Spirit would speak to both of their hearts and help them be reconciled and forgive each other. On August 3 they will begin a new season in a new way on TLC. It will be interesting to see the show and what affect it has on the children. Yes, adultery hurts everyone! Esconddio Lady