I am not new to ministry. I began my journey in ministry full-time back in 1983. It’s hard to believe it’s been almost 30 years. Before that I was a preacher’s kid. All of that to say I’ve seen a lot go on in Christian circles.
I have actually known people who were told “your broken and unusable.” A single mom once shared with me that after her husband cheated several times on her and then threatened to kill her and the kids, that the church she attended could no longer use her because she was divorced. A close friend of my fell to sin earlier this year. He had a close professional counselor friend of his call him and tell him on the phone, “I cannot be your friend any more.” Those types of responses are nothing short of “religion” and they have nothing to do with the heart of Jesus.
After 24 years of working in ministry I let my guard down. I have learned that Satan is patient and will wait for the right time to attack. I was burned out, had made some compromises, my brother died in an accident, fell into a deep depression and I threw in the towel. There is never excuse for sin, however there are many reasons that usually bring you to the place in your life where you let your guard down and you cave to sin.
I was actually told after my fall was public, that I hadn’t suffered enough, couldn’t be used again and very close friends and co-workers decided it was best not to talk with me again. At that point I felt as though that was what I deserved and perhaps their comments where right. As I continue to study the Word of God, it’s very evident that the Bible is a book of restoration. I now feel sorry for those who decided it’s in their best interest to cut all ties with me. Perhaps you have fallen and others make you feel like a second class citizen. I am here to remind you God is crazy about you and delights in the opportunity to restore you and bring you the best years of your life. God is not waiting to beat the fire out of you when you sin. Sin comes with it’s own consequences. Sin always requires payment and thank God, Jesus paid the price for our sin and by His grace God is waiting for the chance to walk with you through your consequences and restore you as the man or woman of God He has called you to be. Christians are supposed to do the same. I love this passage of scripture:
Live creatively, friends. If someone falls into sin, forgivingly restore him, saving your critical comments for yourself. You might be needing forgiveness before the day’s out. Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens, and so complete Christ’s law. If you think you are too good for that, you are badly deceived.
Today I am here to be a voice that shares with you that you can be used again. You can be used even greater than before. God delights in you right now. Begin the journey of healing with God and see what happens. There is no quick fix but the healing can begin. Don’t worry about other Christians who don’t talk to you, won’t return your call, look down on your or what they may say behind your back. God will bring a couple of people into your life that will walk with you to the other side. I encourage you not to give up. I learned a while ago you don’t judge the Bible by others actions, you judge their actions according to the Word of God.
You may have lost the battle but the war can still be won. I refuse to accept the old quote from the church, “Christians are the only ones who shoot their wounded.” My hand will always be out to help someone get back up regardless of what they have done. I want to be there to celebrate their recovery.
If you find your self wounded after falling to sin, know that God is crazy about you and restoration can begin today. If you know of someone who has fallen, call them today and tell them how much you care about them and will do whatever it takes to walk with them to the other side. Walk out the heart of Christ and not religion.
A battle was lost but the war will be won!