The news these days is full of stories about powerful men taking advantage of their positions to assault young women or young men. It’s shocking each night as we turn on the news and see new examples. The British historian Lord Acton stated in 1887 that “Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” That axiom continues to be true today as many young lives are impacted by men who allow their lusts to destroy others.
Man is self-involved, haughty and wicked. That’s why we need a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. But even as believers, we can become slaves to sin if we are living without constantly seeking God’s wisdom instead of the world’s. We are not above falling into the sinful behavior we are seeing in men of betrayal today.
And things are surely worse than any of us realize. In fact, according to the U.S. Department of Justice, more than half of young women who are raped on college campuses never report it. I’m pretty confident that there are many stories from Hollywood and Capitol Hill that we will never even hear about because the victims are afraid to report what happened. This is likely true in many parts of the culture.
As I say all the time, we, as followers of Christ, must be living different lives. We cannot get caught up in the habits of the world because Christ lives within us and we are His representatives. You know, there is nothing sadder than to see a once influential man of the faith fall into the same patterns as we are seeing in the headlines these days. Even the great King David allowed his own desires to carry him away from God’s plan and it nearly destroyed him.
I Peter 1:14-16 gives us sound advice for keeping our hearts and motives pure. It reads: “As obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, because it is written, ‘Be holy, for I am holy.’”
You see, the only way to avoid the temptations and immoralities of life is to live holy lives, in Christ. To be holy, we must be absorbed in the Scriptures so that they can guide our path (Psalm 119:105) and we must be daily communing with the Lord and constantly revitalized in His ways (Psalm 119:37). You are powerless against the temptations of this world and so am I … unless we are fully grounded in Christ Jesus.
This world is an often-menacing place because so many people have turned their eyes from God. We must continue to point to Jesus as the only solution to man’s folly. In closing, let’s look once more to a great Psalm (Psalm 40:4), which says “Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust.” My dad used to wear a lapel pin that read, “Jesus First.” And that truly is the key to living well for God. If we keep Him first in all things, we will never be men of betrayal, or women of betrayal — rather, we will be people of Christ who have eternal impacts on our families, our churches and our communities.