Bob Coy, Mercy and Truth

My last post was prompted by the Bob Coy sexual scandal—an epic “blow up” that affected many.

Sadly, “blow ups” of this type are not as rare as they should be among Christians.  They happen when a man is unable to mask the lust brewing in his heart.  His sin is exposed and he reaps what he has sown.  Whether fully public or in the privacy of a family, the consequences are always devastating.

What is the proper response to this kind of thing?  What do you say?

While developing my prior post, I was drawn to this counsel in Proverbs:

Let not mercy and truth forsake you;
Bind them around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart,
And so find favor and high esteem
In the sight of God and man.
(Proverbs 3:2-3)

Mercy and truth are the cornerstones of how we are to react when someone goes down in flames.

Mercy

Every blow up is painful.  Whether it happened to you or you have lived in the impact zone, you know all about the pain, the embarrassment, the loss of trust, the marital anguish….the list goes on and on.  When the bomb drops there is devastation.

Anyone who speaks to such situations should not add judgment to it.  The wages of sin are sufficient in themselves.  Instead of harshness, mercy—love, tenderness, humility and faithfulness—need to be on full display.

Truth

Nevertheless, mercy by itself is not enough.  Without conveying transforming truth, our mercy is merely a sentimental response.  It is only the truth that will set things right.

Unfortunately, truth as to sexual purity and sexual sin is in short supply.

Here are some examples of things (often conflicting) that are expressed by Christians but are not true:

  • Once a slave to lust, always a slave to lust—you are an “addict.”
  • Concentrate on your behavior, lust is hard-wired and unavoidable.
  • You can quickly solve the problem of your sin and start walking in purity.
  • Our solutions are similar to those the world offers—the way it treats addicts.
  • Just start praying and reading God’s Word.  That is all you need.

Here is the truth:

  • You and every child of God no matter how far you fall can overcome lust, but this will not come about easily or quickly if you are in trouble.  This is God’s will for your life (I Thessalonians 4:1-5).
  • The process of God bringing about this change in your heart and mind—transforming you—will  leave you humbled and thankful.  Sinful behavior will end.  All of this will act as irrefutable proof that God is at work in you (Romans 12:2).

For some tragic, misguided reason the Church has stepped back from truth.  Instead of offering solutions there is a desire to  paper things over.  We either bury those who are wounded or are too quick to restore the fallen even if the real problem is not addressed.

If you are placed in a position to do so, I pray that you will seize that moment of crisis and help in a way that is wise and godly.  It is a time for mercy and truth, for conveying transforming “truth in love” (Ephesians 4:15).

 

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