7. Loneliness becomes an excuse.
Ministry is hard and can easily take it’s toll. Feeling a sense of entitlement if often the beginning of justifying wrong choices. We can easily become jealous and judgmental of those who seem to have “all the fun.” As Oswald Chambers states: “God buries His men [and women] in the midst of paltry things, no monuments are erected to them; they are ignored, not because they are unworthy, but because they are in the place where they cannot be seen.”
Luke 16:10 should be a great encouragement, “So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty’.” Sin can be silenced in a thankful heart set on worshiping God. God has given us the privilege to serve Him, proclaim His truth, and help others. Don’t allow frustration and negativity to lead you down the wrong path.
In closing, if you are on the cliff or have already fallen, take time now and repent. It will hurt, but the fruit of repentance far outweighs the fruit of exposure that will surely come (cf. Numbers 32:23). God’s grace will see you through. A penitent person turns from sin. They accept full responsibility for their actions without blame, resentment, or bitterness. They seek forgiveness without conditions and stipulations. They take full (not partial) responsibility for their actions. There can be no “but’s” when repentance is genuine. “I am sorry. I was wrong. Please forgive me,” are often (although not always) healing words and signs of repentance. Excuses need to stop before healing can occur.
There are consequences for past mistakes, but it’s best to live in God’s healing arms of forgiveness, rather than to live broken outside of His will. Which way will you turn?
Shane Idleman is the founder and lead pastor of Westside Christian Fellowship in Southern California, just North of Los Angeles. More at www.ShaneIdleman.com. Shane’s sermons, articles, books, and radio program can all be found at www.WCFAV.org. Follow him on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/confusedchurch. And YouTube.
Photo courtesy: ©Thinkstock/Marjan Apostolovic
Publication date: July 6, 2018