This blog is designed to talk about media. I want to take a turn and do something different on this blog for today. It’s not written about any one person. To be honest it’s been on my heart for a while.
I’ve been in Christian radio for over 30 years. I’ve seen a lot of good people come and go. Some of those folks were fallen comrades, to be very honest I was one of the fallen. You learn real quick that you can go from HERO TO ZERO in sixty seconds. Friends stop calling, people walk around you in the supermarket, you enter the black hole of loneliness. I fell 7 years ago while running ZJAM Youth Ministries, many of you will remember that. I lost everything because of my sin. I hurt my family, staff, donors, listeners etc… I sat alone in a small home, hoping someone would come find me. No one ever knocked on my door to see how I was doing. I can tell you 7 years later, I’ve never had a visit from my former church where I was an associate pastor for a number of years. I’m not writing this so you will feel sorry for me but so you can get insight into the one who has fallen. I was sorry for my sin, wanted restoration but very few wanted to deal with me and what I was going through.
Galatians 6:1-3 MSG
“…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.”
I’ll be honest with you. Before my fall, my response to folks who had fallen to sin was, “Well that was pretty stupid, how could they be so dumb.” They were not dumb nor stupid but deceived by Satan. Instead of seeking them out, I would brush my hands off and walk away. I’ll be very, very honest with you, to this day I have leaders in my home town and around the country who still will not talk to me. Do I feel sorry for myself, not at all. I feel sorry for them because they have missed the heart of God. God’s heart is to restore the fallen and to use YOU to be part of that process. Yes, that might mean you’ll have to jump in the crap that your comrade created but isn’t that what Christ did for you? He didn’t wait for you to get cleaned up but helped you while you were still living in all of your mistakes, sin and just plain crap.
My goal is to live out this verse and encourage you to do the same. I try to follow up with those who are in my circle of influence and walk with them to restoration if they’ll allow me too. No, I don’t approve of their sin but in most cases neither do they. They just need to know someone still loves them. They need you to show up at their door and just sit and cry with them. The only difference between them and you is the fact that everyone now knows their secret sin. Lets not be full of religion. Lets be willing to get dirty, invest in someones life and be part of the restoration. Put it on your calendar to call them weekly so you don’t forget, take them to lunch…just be available.
I know what you are thinking, it’s going to be an awkward first call or knock on the door. Yep, you are right but it’s worth it. A while back I had a friend who was a leader at a very large church. Everyone would know the church. He had fallen do to moral failure. My first response when I heard of the news was to sit down and cry and by the way, that is exactly what I did. I knew what he was facing and would face. I picked up the phone, left him a voicemail and asked for the chance to talk with him. I simply said, “I don’t know everything that went down and I don’t need too. I know you are a man of God, you are my friend and I would love to walk with you during this time.” Recently I was in his area while traveling and we had the chance to get dinner. He told me the following, “it’s been three years and only three or four people have called me on a regular basis to see how I am doing.” He said this while crying on the phone. He is doing great today, not because of me but because God used a group of men willing to take time out of their busy schedules to walk with him.
It’s time to step up! Perhaps it’s time to shut up and step up. We all have what it takes. Can you imagine the difference we would have in our comrades lives if we lived out this verse? Maybe you know someone that has fallen. I would encourage you to take action today, right now, like in the next few minutes. I hope you’ll take the challenge today and in the spirit it’s given. Let go out and make a difference.