Points to Ponder: Considering Having an Affair?
Points to Ponder
Considering Having an Affair?
I saw the date on one of my audio cassettes in back of the drawer: 1988. It was one of a series of excellent Bible teaching tapes I have from an "up-and-coming" radio preacher. In 1988 and into the early 1990's, he was up and coming. I'd just become a Christian not long before hearing him preach. I'd even gone to two of his radio rallies when he was preaching in the Baltimore area. I learned so much about Jesus Christ and how to study the Bible, I sent for his tapes. I still listen to them once in awhile during my workouts in the gym.
But his up and coming was quickly down and gone after his adulterous affair came to light. What a loss! It was especially ironic for him because he had written books on romance in marriage and often spoke of his wonderful wife.
Others in the ministry have likewise fallen. We've also seen sexual scandals in the White House in the 90's, in the "Mr. Clean" governor of New York (Eliot Spitzer) and lately in one of our own popular Maryland State delegates involving child pornography. When I see these things, I dwell on them and ponder them for quite awhile. "How the mighty have fallen," the saying goes. Many people who have done excellent work and contributed greatly to their communities and even to the nation, have been caught with their pants down (both figuratively and literally).
"For by means of a harlot a man is reduced to a crust of bread. And an adulteress will prey upon his precious life" (Proverbs 6:26).
A week of so after then governor of New York Eliot Spitzer was caught engaging the service of high-priced prostitute, an article further mocked him for paying for something that others in the state capitol enjoy for free. A sad state of affairs indeed (again, both figuratively and literally).
"A man is reduced to a crust of bread." The Associated Press report gives a glimpse of this.
"In a startlingly swift fall from grace, Gov. Eliot Spitzer resigned Wednesday after getting caught in a call-girl scandal that made a mockery of his straight-arrow image and left him facing the prospect of criminal charges and perhaps disbarment...He and his wife rode in a black SUV from their Fifth Avenue apartment to his New York City office to announce his resignation - a trip whose every move was captured by TV helicopters. During the news conference, he and his wife stood inches apart, never touching as they entered or left the room."
Three teenage girls lost their hero; their mom her dignity. And he, I would suppose, humiliated before an entire nation, has never been more lonely. What's worse than losing the respect of your family, your children?
"Whoever commits adultery with a woman lacks understanding; he who does so destroys his own soul. Wounds and dishonor he will get, and his reproach will not be wiped away." (Proverbs 6:32-33).
Have you considered having an affair? Perhaps you should - I mean really consider it. Don't you think that, if he could, Mr. Spitzer would want to go back and make some different decisions? But now, "his reproach will not be wiped away."
He has degrees from Princeton University and Harvard Law School. That took years of hard work; study, exams and entry level grunt work. Then the bar exam, getting a law career underway. Then he becomes attorney general. Then he makes it to governor of New York. At age 48, who knows what might have been next? But he blew it, gambled all of it away for...what?
The trouble with sexual sin, as the Bible says, is that it is uniquely self-destructive:
"Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body" (I Corinthians 6:18).
A recent report prompted me to ponder this particularly destructive and increasingly reported activity.
"A recent USA Today/Gallup Poll of 1,025 adults found that more than half of Americans (54%) know someone who has an unfaithful spouse. That's more than twice the percentage reported in 1964, when 24% of those asked said they knew someone with an unfaithful partner." (Source: Pastor's Weekly Briefing, 3-28-08, Focus on the Family, copyright 2008).
What used to be considered wrong and even shameful is celebrated as normal and fun in the media and in TV and movies. Are these things becoming more enticing? Temptations present themselves in various ways to us. Something that might not draw your interest may hit someone else in just such a way that it captivates. Perhaps an emotional surge occurs within, or a previously unrecognized, or ignored, need rises to the surface. Some who are caught up in something before they realize it, become so enamored with that temptation that they will ignore all the red flags and fail to see that a trap has been set before them with a most enticing bait.
"As a bird hastens to the snare, he did not know it would cost his life" (Proverbs 7:23).
Are you making some small decisions, relatively minor choices, that are gradually setting you up for a fall you will later regret? Imagine having to explain yourself to (fill in the blank). Those who have fallen never thought through the eventual outcome of their choices. Someone reading this needs to do that now, before it's too late. The consequences live on and come back to haunt. See the flags now while you can still make a new decision or confront that person you see heading there.
Though the scripture addresses men, the principle is applicable to both genders.
"Now therefore, listen to me, my children; pay attention to the words of my mouth; do not let your heart turn aside to her ways, do not stray into her paths; for she has cast down many wounded, and all who were slain by her were strong men. Her house is the way to hell, descending to the chambers of death" (Proverbs 7:24-27).
Points to Ponder is a series of occasional articles written by Rev. Dennis Whitmore, Pastor of Hilltop Christian Fellowship of Clear Spring, MD. These articles are also found at www.HilltopChristianFellowship.com.