Growing After Sin

Think through this with me.

What amazes me is the sheer amount of people and conferences that are available to grow your leadership to another level.  Especially the “next” level.  You cannot go to the “Next” level without admitting your “current” level.  As I have sat with and at the feet of two really phenomenal leaders in my personal life who discipled me, I can tell the difference between quotes and leaders making leaders.  One day with Dr. Buchanan he forced me to deal with myself after a revival I attended. In that moment I learned I must practice what has been preached….and it is never fun. When preaching and reaching it at her best it confronts your insecurities.  When you hate it you rebel, when you deal with it you grow.

That being said, it pains me to hear the emotional responses to quotable sentences at conferences and revivals….and yet every year the same problems are evident.  No wonder God isn’t sending new evangelists…we haven’t listened!

For example, why are we still having conversations about adultery among pastors? Why are we still having conversations about embezzlement among pastors?

Why are we still talking about conflict with people that we (as leaders) have supposedly prayed over and put in position?

Why are we still preaching “coming out sermons?

 All of these altar calls and we are still shackled by a heavy burden?

My friends, this is not a leadership issue.  There is no other book to read or quote to help.  This is a sin issue.  I am so genuinely frustrated with the amount of sheer foolishness that is sugarcoated with forgiveness. 

You don’t lead your way back from sin, moral failure, or conflict.  You repent, lament, and move forward knowing that that is now a chapter in your story. 

Period.

What would happen if we as leaders began to openly and genuinely discuss our sin issues. Maybe a reason people in the church do not discuss their sin unless its sex, drugs, and alcohol? (side note, the only reason they discuss those is because every secular artist and genre does) Because you don’t talk about yours. 

We cannot confront the sin issues in our country if you as a leader won’t confront your own sin issues.  How in the blue hell are we going to discuss race when we cannot even talk about the lust you have after the praise and worship leader?

Talk about your real issue. 

Porn. Sex. Anger. Pride. Animosity. Harboring Unforgiveness.

It is not all your dad’s fault. 
It is not all your moms fault. 
It is not all your high school peers fault. 

You logged on the computer, looked up the pornography, masturbated to it, erased the memory. 

You called them on a second phone. You met up with them at a motel with cash only. You didn’t fall into their private areas…you stayed there. You begged them not to share any information.

You refuse to pray for your enemies.  you refuse to sit down and ask for forgiveness.  You harbor it. 

Until you confront the sin…sin holds you.  Here’s what Sin Does.  Sin makes you numb to the presence of God.  It doesn’t lead God away, it makes you think that sin fills the place where only God can sit.  Sin makes you numb to God telling God yhat (insert Sin here) is worth more than Him.

 Lets go to the bible.

We see Prayer work, according to James, AFTER we confess sin. 
The writer of 1 John tells us when we confess our sin he will forgive.
In Peter's sermon he tells them Repent and let sin be wiped away.

You do not lead against sin. You confront it, repent from it, and then progress knowing I did it but God took the taste away. 

So what? Are you mad at me? Do you think I’m being brash and harsh?

Good.

Heres the thing. You are holding onto something you don’t need to hold on to.  Your family, your home, your business, your friendships, your loved ones need you to confront and get rid of your sin issues.  How?

1 - Talk about it. 

I remember the day I confessed to my wife an addiction I had (past tense PTL).  It was not easy. I cried. She cried. She was insulted. I was broken.  After we processed it two things happened.

1 - I trusted her like I never trusted her before. 
2 - She was accountable to my actions.  There was nothing leader-ey about it, it was being together enough to be broken.

Talk about it.  Engage with it. Preach through it. Voice it to your leaders. Tell your spouse. Teach through it.  Pray about/with/over/through it.  Maybe the key to generosity in your church is you asking God to forgive you of your own misuse of church funds.  Maybe the key to growth in your church admitting how you have allowed your pride to be what the people praise instead of the Lord.  Admit it, Talk about it.  I guarantee more people identify with it than you think.  Remember we as pastors attract people that are like us. 

I remember when I told my church about my dealing with depression and my suicide attempt in college.  At first I thought I was going to get a lot of sympathy and anger.  (that did happen) but what surprised me was the amount of people that said, “me too.” I don’t deal with sins of sex/drugs/alcohol. But I anxiety and pride are daily struggles.  Someone in your family, church, work will say me too.

2 - Leave it at Gods feet. 

When we go to the Altar to pray, or you get on your knees at home, leave your burdens there.  A lot of us are walking around the world with unnecessary luggage upset with God that we are not moving fast enough.  God wants us to cast our cares and worries on him.  He literally delights in it so we can delight in him.  When you put yourself at the foot of the cross, you can finally see Jesus at work! You are not strong enough to handle or manage sin.  God is.

Listen, you are at a place where you can do something amazing. How do I know? You read this entire thing.  You obviously want to see God work in your sin.  I’m here to pray for and with you.  While was Jesus was on the cross he cried out, “My God, My God, Why have you forsaken me.” Jesus looked like sin…ugly.  So often we run to that God turned his back on his Son…No father that loves their child will ever turn their back on their children in suffering.  Jesus had become so numb to sin he didn’t see his own father.  The father that allowed him to forgive his enemies, bring a man into paradise, position John at the foot of the cross to take care of his mother.  He was numb.  God is all around you…see him.  God’s omni-presence didn’t leave when you did.

You’re Good
You’re Great
It’s going to be ok.

God bless you