Sin, particularly sexual sin, requires confrontation not spin or scripting. That is why perhaps the best course of action for Jerry Falwell Jr. and his wife, Becki, who has admitted to adultery with a former “pool boy”-turned-business partner, is to “go dark” and leave the limelight as soon as possible.
When one’s sexual sin is played out in public, it becomes even more challenging to avoid scripting. Regarding sexual sin, restoring what these “…locusts have eaten,” takes significant time and work that cannot be accomplished under a media glare. While more things may emerge, they need not be made into headlines.
Those of us with the painful experience of being immersed in the sewer of sexual sin know that one does not enter this cesspool from the high diving board. It starts with looking at the pool, testing one’s toes, dipping, and before you realize it, one is climbing the ladder and preparing for a swan dive. And with sin, there is always a ladder. An event or a photo often serves as only a percentage of what lies beneath.
This is where godly ministers can intervene. “You’re not under discipline, Peter, you’re under authority.” I heard those words from one of the most wonderful pastors I have ever known. “Because you were not caught, but rather confessed, the work of the Holy Spirit was clearly putting pressure on your heart to deal with your sin.”
Explaining further, he helped me understand that stepping out of the shadows and asking for help put me on a path to restoration. Our pastor clearly admonished me to not “script” the recovery but to instead process the pain privately with trusted professionals, then later (much later) share the process. He, and others, walked with me on a trajectory of accountability, counseling, pastoral help, and most importantly, repentance — a complete reversal of my life. I also learned that one does not tout repentance. If real, repentance is affirmed.
Along the way, we heard stories from others. One man told me, “I was involved in a similar situation. It took me several months, but I started to feel better.”
I categorically rejected his comments. “How could this be about feeling better?”
That one statement launched a whole new understanding of sanctification and trusting God with brutal challenges. “It’s not about feeling better, but rather about being better.”