Ashley Madison: Walking Through the Mess
At the start of 2015, we declared that our desire as a church is to be Compelled by the Spirit, that as we take a step of faith toward God, trusting in Jesus, that we will see His kingdom expand in our communities and across the state.
When God moves in a community, He also commonly shakes up the mess in people’s lives. So it shouldn’t surprise us when we discover people are dealing with mistakes – huge mistakes, and sometimes devastating mistakes. I know better than to assume that people are generally okay. I’ve seen way too much and had way too many conversations with people who have been betrayed by their most trusted friend, even their spouse.
So when the Ashley Madison story of extensive marital betrayal broke in the news, it didn’t surprise me that many unsuspecting Arkansas families would eventually find out that this hideous website promoting adultery would affect them personally. The tragedy has maybe even hit home for your neighbors, coworkers, or friends. It may have even hit home for some of you.
What If This Is You?
If this disclosure has turned up some surprises that you didn’t know about, if your heart is broken and your family crushed, humiliated even, you must know that God is in the mess with you, and so are we. Isaiah 53 reminds me that not only did Jesus die for our sin, He also carried our pain to the Cross. Verse 4 says this, “Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows.” In that same chapter is also a promise that I want you to hang onto in the coming weeks and months: “By His stripes we are healed” (v. 5).
If that is you, please call your campus pastor. Let us walk through this with you. We don’t want you to walk through grief alone. Please know that we are here for you and will keep what you’re going through confidential, whether it’s Ashley Madison or something else.
And if your name is on that list (or any embarrassing list, regardless of who knows about it), God wants you free from sin and condemnation, restored to be who He made you
Don’t Face It Alone
Everybody needs friends, and even more so when they’re ready for real change. You need to know that we are here for you, even in the midst of destructive mistakes, when life feels like a total ruin. We want to walk through freedom and healing with you.
how do we respond as the body of Christ?
Maintain a Spirit of Innocence
If your name isn’t on the list, don’t go digging around to find out who’s on the list. If you’ve already done that, then don’t whisper names you’ve discovered. None of that is good! None of it is honorable. It’s certainly not an honor to be on the list in the first place, but what good does it do to spread it around? None. The Bible even calls that gossip.
What if all the embarrassing things that you have done were written down, then somebody posted that on social media? How would you want others to treat you? Here’s what I know. The enemy is constantly trying to destroy us. He will use anything – from adultery to gossip – to worm his way in and mess up your life. Church, instead choose mercy, grace and compassion toward those affected.
When we don’t like the mess inside of someone, choose to love the mess out of them first!
I have often said that we don’t need to be more religious; we just need more of Him! Pray that those who have walked away from God to return to Him. Pray for those who are wrecked by this news, that they find the peace and healing that can only be found in Christ, and that they choose to forgive those who have wronged them.
Pray for those caught up in the deception, that they recognize that what they have chosen was very wrong and hurtful, that they turn away from it and turn to Christ, the only real hope we have, the only One who can bring healing and redemption!
New Life Church, let’s continue to press in for more of Him in our communities. May broken and hurting people continue to flood through our doors – not because we are a great church, but because He is a great God.
We are honored to serve His kingdom and the people He entrusts to our church. All of them.