I have been speaking with my son a lot recently about trust. He is 7 and believes he should have the freedom of an 18 year old. He doesn’t understand why he cannot run a mile on the bike trail without me or why he can’t just ride his bike over to the 7-eleven. I have explained to him that certain privileges come with age and others after building trust. He wants everything now, like a get in free pass, without first proving his ability and character.
I think it is really easy as a Pastor to grab our “get in free pass” when it comes to character. After all, we have been hired, called by God, prayed over by the Elders, and ordained for this calling. We are trustworthy, aren’t’ we? The assumption by others that our character is adequate and our words authentic opens the door to deceptive leadership.
To better evaluate our character we must ask ourselves, “are we faithful in the little things?”
Jesus addresses the issue of character in connections with our wealth asks the right questions.
“If you are faithful in little things, you will be faithful in large ones. But if you are dishonest in little things, you won’t be honest with greater responsibilities. 11 And if you are untrustworthy about worldly wealth, who will trust you with the true riches of heaven? 12 And if you are not faithful with other people’s things, why should you be trusted with things of your own? 13“No one can serve two masters.” [LUKE 16:10-13]
What does it mean to be faithful in the little things when it comes to our sexual purity? I know at times in my life I have slipped and become satisfied with foul balls. In a baseball game when the batter steps up to the plate his goal is not to just get a piece of the ball but to hit one in play. Our goal as followers of Jesus is not to obtain a degree of sexual purity that keeps us out of an adulterous relationship, but to truly be pure. Our goal is for the realities of heaven to fill our thoughts and consume our actions. Could it be possible that you have settled for foul balls in your journey toward sexual purity?
Our congregations have given many of us “get in free” passes when it comes to our character and sexual purity. They are taking for granted the fact that you are living a Godly life. For some of you – this has been the freedom needed to fall short in your character. We must start with the little things.
1. Have you made a habit of evaluating every woman who passes by?
2. Do you go out of your way to get the attention of certain women in your life?
3. Have you settled for masturbation over physical intimacy with your spouse?
4. Have images and videos of partially dressed woman on the internet and in magazines become acceptable material?
5. Have you stopped “repenting” of sexual sin?
I believe it is imperative that we don’t misuse the trust our churches and families have granted us. They believe that you are taking the small steps, being responsible with the small decision, and truly seeking after the character of Jesus.
Have you been faithful in the little things? Start today by identifying the little character issues in your life. Create a plan to build your character and overcome the obstacles.