Elvis: At a certain point, letting your audience into your personal life isn’t necessary good for either side.
me: that’s my dilemma. i’ve always had two audiences. it may not be good for the fiction fans, but my non-fiction/blog fans …
Elvis: Do you really want to be Jim Bakker?
me: so you think i should just “move on” and go back to normal blogging?
Elvis: I think you can make a dignified “Thank you for listening during this difficult time for me and my family. We’re working on this very hard together and appreciate your support, and out of respect for my wife and children, and to allow us the privacy we need to repair the damage that has been done, I’ll be moving on to other topics in this space. Thank you”

My friend, codename: Elvis, is like the Jewish grandmother I always wanted, but he’s right. It’s the life of a public figure. Which isn’t to say I won’t occasionally re-visit this topic, if only tangentially. I write about what I’m thinking about or thinking through. I’ve appreciated hearing from folks, even if I didn’t have a lot to say in response (hello, cleared inbox). I appreciate how many of you shared your own struggles. And my family appreciates the thoughts and prayers. Believe me, we need them.

I was especially touched and surprised by those that called. They had an eerie similarity to them. The caller would express disappointment in me – you could hear the sadness and even anger in their voice – for me not being the man they believed/wanted me to be. Yet they still loved the man that I am. If nothing else, it really drove home the idea that there are no private sins, as if the repercussions would only impact a few. One friend quoted from the book Alcoholics Anonymous:

“The alcoholic is like a tornado roaring his way through the lives of others. Hearts are broken. Sweet relationships are dead. Affections have been uprooted. Selfish and inconsiderate habits have kept the home in turmoil. We feel a man is unthinking when he says that sobriety is enough. He is like the farmer who came up out of his cyclone cellar to find his home ruined. To his wife, he remarked, `Don’t see anything the matter here, Ma. Ain’t it grand the wind stopped blowin’?'”

And that we could replace “alcoholic” with the sin of our choice. Sure, there were those who simply threw Bible verses at me or outright disowned me or who “checked in” simply to gloat, but I expected a certain amount of that. I did want to pass along a note that I received from “a fellow beggar”:

With Love from Seraphim:

“Your identity is no longer that of an adulterer (or pick your flavour of sinner).

You have been washed in the blood of Jesus. The old man is dead, the new one is here. You are a new creature in Christ. Sin shall no more have dominion over you. However, since we are still waiting for the Redemption of our bodies, from time to time, willingly and/or un-willingly we may fall into sin. The Old man is dead, but seeks to live again thru us. Don’t let him.

If you do, do not fear. We have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the Righteous. He knew that we would continue to sin after coming to a knowledge of the Truth. So He made provision for us. If we confess our sins He is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and will cleanse us from all un-righteousness.

It is important to fight against sin. It is important to strengthen your inner – spiritual man thru fellowship, prayer and daily bible reading. Sin can hurt us, and it grieves God. But He has given us the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 1:13) who is with us 24/7 interceding on our behalf to the Father, not to mention that Jesus is on the Right Hand of the Power on High also interceding for us.

Do not give into despair. You are not alone. There are other members of the body that still struggle with the sins you find yourself struggling with. Find them and help one another to bare one another’s burdens. Stay Accountable to each other. The difference between a sinner and a righteous one is that the righteous one gets back up.

And there is a prayer I want you to memorize. No, it’s not scripture (and you should find the promises in the Word that speak to you and memorize them, they will help in your fight against sin):

“O Lord my God! I have done this because I am what I am and so nothing can be expected of me but such transgressions or even worse, if Thy grace does not help me and I am left to myself alone. I grieve over what I have done, especially because my life has no righteousness responding to Thy care of me, but still I continue to fall and fall. Forgive me, and give me the strength not to offend thee again and in no way to digress from Thy will. For I zealously wish to work for Thee, to please Thee and be obedient in All things”

And the after prayer instruction would be this: Having done this, do not torment yourself with thoughts as to whether God has forgiven you. The Lord is near and listens to the sighings of His servants. So calm yourself in this certainty and, having regained your calm, continue your usual occupations as though Nothing had happened.” (Taken from Unseen Warfare – St Theophan the Recluse.)

Be Encouraged.

Now back to your regularly scheduled blog.

***
Full Disclosure:

Secret Lives, Secret Shame

Walking Through My Failings

Double Lives

For the Record …

On the Idea of Confessing

Emotional Affairs (aka No Longer “Just Friends”)

Good Days, Bad Days (On Despair)

Prayer of Repentance

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