Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Counting the Cost of Sexual Immorality

Have you ever considered the effects of your sexual immorality - especially if you're serving in any sort of ministry capacity in a church?

Author and teacher Randy Alcorn sat down and came up with a list of effects. When he was going through a time of temptation, or knew he would have to face it, he would take out the list:

Personalized List of Anticipated Consequences of Immorality

* Grieving my Lord; displeasing the One whose opinion most matters.

* Dragging into the mud Christ's sacred reputation.

* Loss of reward and commendation from God.

* Having to one day look Jesus in the face at the judgment seat and give an account of why I did it. Forcing God to discipline me in various ways.

* Following in the footsteps of men I know of whose immorality forfeited their ministry and caused me to shudder. List of these names:

* Suffering of innocent people around me who would get hit by my shrapnel (a la Achan).

* Untold hurt to Nanci, my best friend and loyal wife.

* Loss of Nanci's respect and trust.

* Hurt to and loss of credibility with my beloved daughters, Karina and Angela. ("Why listen to a man who betrayed Mom and us?")

* If my blindness should continue or my family be unable to forgive, I could lose my wife and my children forever.

* Shame to my family. (The cruel comments of others who would invariably find out.)

* Shame to my church family.

* Shame and hurt to my fellow pastors and elders. List of names:

* Shame and hurt to my friends, and especially those I've led to Christ and discipled. List of names:

* Guilt awfully hard to shake—even though God would forgive me, would I forgive myself?

* Plaguing memories and flashbacks that could taint future intimacy with my wife.

* Disqualifying myself after having preached to others.

* Surrender of the things I am called to and love to do—teach and preach and write and minister to others. Forfeiting forever certain opportunities to serve God. Years of training and experience in ministry wasted for a long period of time, maybe permanently.

* Being haunted by my sin as I look in the eyes of others, and having it all dredged up again wherever I go and whatever I do.

* Undermining the hard work and prayers of others by saying to our community "this is a hypocrite—who can take seriously anything he and his church have said and done?"

* Laughter, rejoicing and blasphemous smugness by those who disrespect God and the church (2 Samuel 12:14).

* Bringing great pleasure to Satan, the Enemy of God.

* Heaping judgment and endless problems on the person I would have committed adultery with.

* Possible diseases (pain, constant reminder to me and my wife, possible infection of Nanci, or in the case of AIDS, even causing her death, as well as mine.)

* Possible pregnancy, with its personal and financial implications.

* Loss of self-respect, discrediting my own name, and invoking shame and lifelong embarrassment upon myself.

Alcorn's Blog entry

1 comment:

Eutychus said...

Excellent insight. Thanks Brian