…take heed lest he fall” (I Corinthians 10:12). A friend at seminary asked me, “If Satan wanted to take you out, what would he use?” I said, “Pride.” Then I asked him the same question and he said, “Sex.” He was right. He divorced a godly wife who had given him four wonderful children and chose a single woman instead, leaving the ministry and a trail of suffering behind him. He knew enough to answer correctly but not enough to deal with the issue at hand. Sad, stupid and selfish. What do you tell his kids?
I wish he had a mentor that helped him to walk in the light, confess his sins, and deal with his problems. Might have saved a lot of people from a ton of pain. I ask young men I mentor to tell me their strengths and the weaknesses. Then we discuss them–in detail. I want to see if they know what could take them out and what they are doing about it now. Many of those who have good plans for their future and leadership gifts never get there. They are sidelined for a host of reasons. If they had been taking heed, maybe they could have prevented the fallout. If they had coaches to help keep them on track with probing questions, they might have learned to be on guard.
We are looking for older, wiser men and women who could help steer these young people into a bright future. Too many in their seventies think it is time for them to sit back and be spectators. Or perhaps the church they attend makes them feel that way. We desperately need mature fathers and mothers prepared to be a shining light with millennials who need their example and wisdom. Dear older friends, let your pastor know that you are available to work with young people one on one.
I am sad for every pastor who experiences a moral failure. That wasn’t on their agenda when they were ordained and took vows of ordination and when they were married and made promises to their spouse. Somehow, they didn’t take heed–and they fell. The potential is in every one of us. A man after God’s own heart created pain in his family for years through moral fallout. He was forgiven, but the consequences played themselves out for decades.
What could keep you from your God-appointed destiny? The master called three servants and gave them jobs. Two did well and were commended. The third buried his talents and had a miserable ending. The master called him a “wicked and slothful servant.” That was not a compliment. He was both mean-spirited and lazy. He didn’t take heed–and he fell hard.
“Taking heed” includes:
1) Vulnerability. James urges us: “Confess your sins to one another and pray for one another that you may be healed” (James 5:16). Walking in the light means that we don’t have secrets. If we have a secret for more than a week, it has us.
2) Awareness of Satan’s sinister plans. He wants to take us out. Oh how Satan rejoices when someone with a successful ministry is picked off. Paul called it “craftiness in deceitful schemes” (Ephesians 4:14). We are called to “stand against the schemes of the devil” (Ephesians 6:11). May you stand–as you take heed!