So far this week, we've been greeted with the news that former California governor Arnold Schwarzeneggar fathered a child out of wedlock with the family housekeeper a decade ago. Until just a few days ago, the movie star neglected to tell his wife and children, as well as the voting public. Over the weekend, International Monetary Fund (IMF) President Dominique Strauss-Kahn, a man who has had a successful track record with this financial institution and who many considered to be a viable presidential candidate in his native France, was arrested and charged with raping a maid at the hotel where he was staying in New York City. These stories are not uncommon. How often have we learned of politicians, entertainers, athletes, and business tycoons who appear to have it all, only to throw it away for seemingly nothing? It seems that the more powerful one is or the more successful one becomes, the easier it is to fall.
Yet, underneath these scandalous headlines lies something far more common: the depravity of the human heart; the desire to turn away from the face of God. While we may not have the name recognition or run in the same influential circles as those mentioned above, the truth is that you and I face the same temptations every single day. We are constantly confronted with opportunities to be unfaithful to our spouses, dishonest with our families, or arrogant with our co-workers. In the Bible, Paul warns believers that anyone who thinks they stand better take heed lest they fall. Solomon lets us know in Proverbs that pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.
It's not just the tabloid sins that get us in trouble. Every time we neglect prayer before making a major decision, place other priorities ahead of worshiping and serving the Lord, or value our comfort and entertainment over loving our neighbor, we are saying exactly the same phrase as these public figures in our hearts: "God, I don't need you. I can make it on my own." Even if the vices you are enjoying appear to be kept under the radar, rest assured that "the secret things of the heart will one day be revealed." Only through a careful and consistent dependence on the Spirit of God to work in our lives and a total saturation of his word can we have hope that the same fate met by these individuals does not also meet us.
God help us to stay close to and dependent on the Lord who sees and knows all.
See you Sunday,
Bro. Barry - Psalm 19:14