Friday, December 22, 2006

Not a Happy Christmas Story

When I read a news article telling about some sexual indiscretion or alleged misconduct by a person I have no connection to, my reaction is to think in two dimensional terms: How stupid. How could he? How could this person let his urges get the best of him and ruin his career and hurt those around him?

Of course, it is easy to be judgmental. And if I’m in an honest mood, it is too easy to list any number of things that I’ve decided to not do again....for which the resolution lasted all of 15inutes.

In the context of sin in general, I believe that all sins separate us from God, and all sins are forgiven by the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. So I am no better when I sin than somebody who does a “big” sin. And I am no better or worse when I am forgiven than any other person loved by the Lord.

But it is true that many sins and actions have consequences that are devastating and long lasting for the sinner and for those around him/her.

Maybe I drive drunk only one time with a horrible result. Maybe someone shoots a gun in the air for joy but the bullet hits a child.

The context of my thoughts: A respected mentor to a person I care about has admitted sexually inappropriate behavior. The news reports state that it wasn’t illegal behavior. The mentor had to resign his position.

Now the people around him have complex emotions to deal with. His institution is tainted in some people’s eyes. And other people he was a mentor to may have some of this reflected on them. All his good work is tainted by one action.

My thinking on this matter is no longer simplistic. This doesn’t mean that I excuse this behavior. But I know that God forgives.

May God work peace in the hearts of all affected by this situation.

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