Just a couple of weeks ago we looked at the sad tale of David and Bathsheba in our Wednesday night Bible-study/Prayer time. Then in the last couple of days I saw the equally sorry account of Governor Eliot Spitzer’s corrupt dalliances with high-priced prostitutes. There are many parallels:
- Both were powerful men who thought they could get away with their sin.
- The governor and the king make clear that it is not, “Just my business.” The people who can be hurt are many.
- Over both accounts there is the obvious question, “Why?” As we—at least we guys—seek to honestly answer that question, we find the answers disturbing. There are too many ways that these guys are like us.
Perhaps above it all, there is the reminder that when we find ourselves, looking down from the roof, or on the computer screen, at a woman we shouldn’t be looking at in that way [Proverbs 15:20], that is the time to quit. In fact it is five minutes past time.
Years ago I had the privilege of speaking at my friend's, Dave King's, funeral. An older, wiser colleague, who was also Dave's friend cringed when he figured out where I was heading. But as I look back over two decades, I can't improve on David's--my friend, not the king--wisdom. One time when David and I were talking about preachers who had blown it morally, Dave said. "You know, when a guy starts unzipping his fly he has to know he's doing something wrong." I said, "Amen" when my friend shared that thought. At his funeral I quoted him to honor him for his commitment to purity, and his desire to hold the rest of us to the same standard. I remember it now. It has helped me over the years.
The utterly lame excuses that guys offer about something sneaking up on them, or their getting involved before they knew it, etc. Are lies. Before they ever get to the point of doing something that can be technically defined as adultery or fornication, they have chosen to ignore many flashing red lights on the dashboard of their conscience.
We are too easy on ourselves. Jesus said, cut off your hand, gouge out your eye. We seem unwilling to endure a hangnail's worth of suffering. "It is too hard." we say, and give in. It could be that is when it really gets hard. Just ask Eliot Spitzer.
Billy Graham never traveled alone. He always had staff check out hotel rooms before he entered. Extreme? Yes. But he is an old man with a spotless record on this matter. It is one thing for a politician to get in bed with the wrong woman--tragic, but not unexpected--but when one of us who is supposed to be a man of God shows himself to be very much a man-of-the-flesh, all of us have to pay the price.
I would appreciate your thoughts.