This is a guest post from Bobby Zaki. In his own words, Bobby is learning more each day how to improve his relationship with God through learning, serving, mistakes, struggling and having fun all at the same time. You can follow him on twitter, @bobby_zaki. And if you too are interested in guest posting on my blog, please visit my Guest Post guidelines for more info.
It happens to all of us. None of us is exempt. No matter how much we want to turn away, we just can’t sometimes. It’s like watching a train wreck – we don’t want to see it, but we just can’t turn away. What am I talking about? I’m talking about GOSSIP.
Unfortunately, we’re suckers for gossip these days. We may not admit it outright, but it’s the truth. And when there’s a problem, gossip only does one thing to it…MAKES IT WORSE!
One of the biggest news headlines these days are the scandals of men in leadership roles having extramarital affairs. Most recently, General David Petraeus - the former Director of the CIA who resigned due to an extramarital affair. True, that news is a bummer and even stings a little bit. However, what is the best response that we can have for this (as a Christian)? The world might not forgive him, maybe not even his family, but Christ certainly will.
As a Christian we should be in tune with a Christ-like response of love, forgiveness and a chance for return - a chance for GRACE. No one can claim perfection. Even the Early Church fathers acknowledge this:
"The Church is the only hospital where patients serve other patients" (St John Chrysostom).
Jesus Christ is in the business of forgiveness and His best customers are sinners – repentant sinners, that is. As Christians, when we hear this news, instead of falling into the trap of following the gossip and knowing more and more of the details, we should look within and do more self-examination of the darkness that we are carrying in our hearts. I'm sure if we look hard enough, we’ll find all kinds of good stuff in there! Imagine those news headlines!
Personally, I caught myself pointing the finger at these men who fall, checking out the details and then claiming that there are no good leaders anymore. A recent trip to confession however reminded me that sometimes even my heart can be a part of the problem if I let it be.
A return to Christ is the only way that we can find light in such a dark story. That is why the Bible gives us so many messages of RETURN, GRACE, FORGIVENESS, HOPE and a second chance! I hope that David Petraeus and all of us will rebound in this type of way. This is also why we point to the parable of the Prodigal Son and we remember stories of the Samaritan woman and other saints like St Moses the Strong and St Mary of Egypt.
"Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign though righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." (Romans 5:20-21)
Thanks God. Thanks St Paul.
I don't know if Petraeus is a believer but Christ might be the only light for him in this very dark situation. I hope there is a way he will come to know grace through all of this – then he can truly become a leader.
For discussion: what do you see as the appropriate response when we hear about the moral failures of people in leadership?