7 Steps to Avoid Sexual Sin and Stay in the Ministry
Sadly, we've all heard the stories.
"Pastor disqualifies himself from ministry after having an affair with his secretary."
Recently, the story hit a little too close to home when a good friend of mine did exactly that. With the need for vigilance in this area fresh on my mind, I want to try to redeem this tragedy by offering the following seven practical thoughts in an effort to spare us, our families, and our churches from a similar fate.
1. Don't say it can't happen to you.
We may nod our heads in agreement, but in our hearts we can still live in functional unbelief of this fact. We need to constantly remind ourselves of Paul's warning in 1 Corinthians 10:12: "Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall."
It can happen to us, so we must be vigilant in this area and all others if we want to go the distance in ministry. The world is broken, the enemy opposes us, and our flesh is weak.
2. Repent of your pride and self-righteousness.
"Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall" (Proverbs 16:18).
Every pastor I know who has fallen in sexual sin once believed he never would. Our pride encourages us to "push the envelope" by thinking we are the exception to the rule. The same pride also keeps us from getting he help we need to avoid these kinds of situations in the first place. Statistics show that most affairs don't begin on a whim. The seeds are often sown in soil of an unhappy or tumultuous marriage. Pastors, if there are currently problems in your marriage, please reach out for help and deal with them now so that you don't become a statistic later.
3. Put all the needed safeguards in place--and keep them there.
"The highway of the upright avoids evil; those who guard their ways preserve their lives" (Proverbs 16:17).
All of us know this is true, but are we living as if we truly believe it?
We know that we shouldn't be alone with a member of the opposite sex, but how faithfully do we abide by this principle?
We know we should have active porn filters on our computers, but do we?
We can all agree any of our practices can be cumbersome at times, but situations like this remind us that they are more than worth it.
Please, brothers, for the sake of the gospel and our churches, heed the warning today and employ whatever specific practices you need to keep yourself pure and your ministry intact.