Years ago when I was studying to become a minister at MidAmerica Nazarene University, a professor dedicated the class time to teaching on sexual temptation in ministry. It was not for academic purposes, but to prepare us. I am glad he did!
My mind raced back to that class as I reflected on the flood of sexual misconduct stories beginning with Harvey Weinstein. The women that came forward in the film industry, gave courage for others to speak out in the worlds of sports, politics, and media. By no means is it limited to those arenas. I live in the world of religion. Unfortunately, the problem extends there also.
As we celebrate Valentine’s Day, let me be clear, none of this has anything to do with real love. When someone of great influence moves sexually on someone of lesser influence, it is about lust and abuse of power. When a man or woman of a lesser position sexually engages with person of higher position, that he or she might find some advantage, it is for personal gain. When an organization refuses to act on confirmed reports of sexual allegations against its influential leader, they are looking out for themselves. And it does not matter if it is consensual or not. Wrong is wrong. And no one is immune from this. In the Bible, the heralded King David became a victim of sexual sin as found in the legendary story of David and Bathsheba.
David was an honorable man of God, but at the height of His fame and power, he became morally weak. One day, instead of tending to his normal duties, he strolled onto the roof of his palace to view his expanding kingdom with pride. In that moment, a woman appeared in the distance that captured his attention. He used his position as King to summon her, where they slept together, and she became pregnant.
The story did not end there. For a year, David hid his heinous actions until God sent a messenger to confront him. Finally, David turned from his pride and humbly confessed his evil to God.
After an incident like David had, it would be easy to feel as if life was over because of the consequences. There is no future. There is no hope. Let me say, that with God, there are always second chances.
Because of the death and resurrection of Jesus the evil of your sexual sin can be forgiven. Your shame and guilt can be washed away. In the face of your consequences, you can have freedom.
A prayer for you to pray:
Lord God, I can see that what I have done is wrong. I desperately need your forgiveness. I pray David’s words who said, “Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin” (Psalm 51:2). In Jesus name. Amen.