No final judgment has been made of him and he has not been convicted of a crime. But last week Lance Armstrong was stripped of his titles and the at least part of the world world (more than before) is beginning to wondering if he is a fake. Again, just like Joe Paterno, Lance Armstrong has not been convicted of wrong doing. In fact, throughout his whole career he has never failed a drug test. But other cyclists have said numerous times and the US Biking Association (whatever this group is called) has declared Armstrong a fraud and stripped him of his 7 Tour de France titles and have forbidden him to ever race competitively again. What? How? Really?
So how does this apply to ministry?
Public opinion can turn on you quickly and a "fact" here or a "fact" here can take something away that you worked an entire lifetime for. Your legacy can be forever tarnished in the eyes of others.
I know I wrote about this a few weeks ago with Joe Paterno and the Freeh Report, but the reprecusion of what happened to Joe Paterno's legacy, Melky Cabrera's great season and now Lance Armstrong's legacy only brings me back time and time again as to who are we, Youth Ministers, Family Ministers, Children's Ministers, who are we when no one is looking?
Are we honest, god-fearing, faithful....or are we just another fake, pretending to be someone we are not? Believe it or not, there are so many fakes out there, especially in the ministry world.
So how do you stay real? How do you not fall into the trap so many other people have before?
Simple. Stay true to Christ. 1 John 2:24-25 - "As for you, see that what you have heard from the beginning remains in you. If it does, you also will remain in the Son and in the Father. And this is what he promised us—eternal life."
Ok, I know I said it was simple, but let's be honest, it's not that simple really. Staying true to the Lord and following his commands is not always easy. In fact, in this day and age, it is really hard to remain in Christ in such a tempting world. But if we look at it from a consequence standpoint, can we really afford NOT to follow and obey the Lord's commands? Are we willing to throw away our livelihood and damage many more people's lives by NOT following and obeying the Lord's commands? Do not let temptation overcome you and remember what Paul promised in 1 Corinthians 10:13 - "No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it."
Things can change in a heartbeat..just like that, if we fail to make the right decisions and follow the Lord. Just ask Joe Paterno, Melky Cabrera and Lance Armstrong. So let's take to heart 1 John 2:24-25 and live out what we've heard from the beginning and stay true to it. Not only for eternity but also so that our current life can be unblemished as well.
Thoughts? Comments? Suggestions? Post a comment here so we can all learn and benefit from it.
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