Proverbs 7:22 He goes after her straightway, as an ox goes to the slaughter, or as a fool to the correction of the stocks.
There have been some people who have walked with God for years and have taken a hard moral fall in this past year. These are people we know and we pray for a Godly recovery and restoration. God does say in His word that He would bring judgment to the church first. God’s heart is to clean us up to be a real testimony to the world. 1 Pet. 4:17 For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God?
One of the things I have noticed in these unfortunate moral breakdowns is no one falls alone. Regardless of the depth or severity of the sin that was practiced or taken up, there are always casualties other than the person who has fallen. I have seen first hand the effects of the sinful shrapnel that brings devastation and wounds to many in the body of Christ.
Many people think they are hurting no one but themselves if they alone are practicing sin in private, or acting out just under the radar of public noticeability. This is such a lie because we are all connected in the body of Christ. No one lives and dies unto themselves. 1 Cor. 12:21 And the eye cannot say unto the hand, I have no need of you: nor again the head to the feet, I have no need of you. We need each other in Christ. This is not some new revelation that we are suddenly noticing.
King David was dealing with the pain of losing a friend because of a sin that betrayed a relationship. Psalm 55:12 For it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could have borne it, neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me; then I would have hid myself from him: 13 But it was you, a man my equal, my guide, and my close friend. Whether or not the fallen are close friends or mere acquaintances in the body of Christ, it still hurts the souls of everyone who walked with these people and it hurts in the deepest parts of our being.
I thank God there is healing for this type of hurt and I am so grateful that He can and will restore those who have fallen if they ask for forgiveness. We have to realize that the fallen could have been ourselves. I for one, if I had fallen into the deepest despair of sin, I would be thrashing for forgiveness like a drowning man would be thrashing to survive. Our hearts hurt for these brothers and sisters who fell short, but we also intercede for their recovery to faith and stability in Christ. There is grace for all of us. 1 John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
The lesson I have taken from these painful life circumstances and the devastating effects on others is to keep my heart available to God’s scrutiny, asking Him to point out potential pitfalls. Psalm 139:23 Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! In this world and times I don’t know any other way to keep clean in heart but to stay circumspect before God and my brothers and sisters in the church body. Allow God to correct our lives daily and submit to the correction. May we all be able to say as Paul did. 2 Tim. 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Lord, God, keep us all and help us see clearly the steps before us and may we run the race with your strength. In Jesus name.