Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Ripple Effects of Sin

This week, there have been lots of major news headlines: deaths of celebrities, sentencing of a thief, and indiscretions of a governor. The one that has stuck with me the most was South Carolina's Governor, Mark Sanford admitting his unfaithfulness to the world.

Every time I hear of adultery, it breaks my heart. At one point, both the husband and wife were madly in love with each other, took vows and pledged their lives to one another. And somewhere between "I do" and "I don't" another lover has taken a spouse's rightful place. How can someone carelessly toss away everything so dear to them, and not count the cost of doing so?

As my mom and I watched the press conference (boy am I glad I've never had to do a public confession before!), we were at times ensconced in disbelief, anger, and sadness. Mark Sanford is not the first person to have ever committed adultery, especially not in political office, but for some reason, this particular incident has left me appalled more than usual.

A self-professed Christian leaving his wife and four young sons drowning in the wake of his transgressions...over Father's Day weekend of all times. Lying to his own staff of his whereabouts...from the Appalachian Trail to Argentina. And from an "innocent" friendship of eight years with a woman to a national press conference admitting secret rendezvous with a now lover.

One of Satan's greatest lies to us is that our sin is just that, ours. False! Sin always has far greater reaching ramifications than we can ever know. On this side of Heaven and the other side too. And even if your sin goes with you to the grave in secret, God still knows...and grieves. Randy Alcorn has written a post that covers Sanford's affair, but more importantly he shares a list of "Anticipated Consequences of Immorality." I highly encourage you to read it. It is sobering and demands I cling with all that I have to my wedding vows.

I will say that during the press conference, he truly seemed sincere and contrite. He even mentioned that he "had violated God's Law" and this public confession was "a consequence of my sin." He also recalled several spiritual mentors by name and asked for their forgiveness. What I saw in this man, was someone who had been highly regarded and esteemed become reduced to a weak, humbled lump of clay. Time will tell how all of this plays out, but I truly hope he and his wife will be able to reconcile and move beyond his affair.

Psalm 32:1-5

"Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered.
Blessed is the man whose sin the LORD does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit.
When I kept silent, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.
For day and night your hand was heavy upon me; my strength was sapped as in the heat of summer.
Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, "I will confess my transgressions to the LORD "— and you forgave the guilt of my sin."

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