King­dom Char­ac­ter: How to be Faith­ful to the End (Part 1 of 3)

The most dif­fi­cult per­son that I will ever have to lead is myself.

That per­son is a pack­age of impres­sive strengths min­gled with equal­ly great inse­cu­ri­ties, wounds, and incon­sis­ten­cies, all judi­cious­ly pack­aged, as best as we know how, to project the best pos­si­ble pub­lic face. All the while ful­ly aware of the con­cealed bro­ken­ness inside the box. And that bro­ken­ness, if not restored, will be our undo­ing.

We have all watched the lives of pub­lic fig­ures unrav­el as their weak­ness­es are exhib­it­ed in real time across every media out­let that has access to a news truck. Sports fig­ures, tele­vi­sion per­son­al­i­ties, movie stars, politi­cians, and, the most sala­cious of all, reli­gious celebri­ties are caught on count­less cam­eras doing the “perp walk” while futile­ly attempt­ing to shield their dis­graced faces. There is a beguil­ing yet trag­ic pathet­ic­ness to the whole thing.

Do you sup­pose any of them envi­sioned this degrad­ing end­ing in the promis­ing, begin­ning days of their careers? Not like­ly. A finale like this would be far from the thoughts of most. Yet week by week anoth­er icon’s col­lapse is parad­ed in high def­i­n­i­tion into the sanc­tu­ary of our liv­ing rooms.

But what is more trag­ic and unques­tion­ably more detri­men­tal to the King­dom of God than the col­lapse of dis­tant celebri­ties is the fre­quen­cy with which trust­ed spir­i­tu­al lead­ers are forced to aban­don their Father’s call due to a heart­break­ing moral fail­ure.

The rip­ples of resent­ment, dis­be­lief, and skep­ti­cism radi­ate from this bro­ken trust for years and, in many cas­es, for gen­er­a­tions. The gift of a promis­ing min­istry ends in a jad­ed lega­cy of scorched earth.

Sure­ly, no one starts out in min­istry with this kind of end­ing in mind. Yet it mate­ri­al­izes with such reg­u­lar­i­ty …

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