When Deep Grief Trumps a Sinful Celebration

How to Respond When a Former Brother Trumpets His Sin

image for grief

This morning I experienced a deep grief as I scrolled through my Facebook timeline. A married man who I treated as a brother in Christ posted a note celebrating the one year anniversary of connecting with a woman not his wife. Instead of celebrating he should be grieving, too.

What really grieved me was not that this man has been in a sinful relationship for a year. It was that he attributed this relationship to God. Instead of hallowing the name of the Father, he blasphemed God’s name.

A Prodigal Path

I had spent time with this man. We drank coffee together, shared a meal together, and talked business together. I had shared with him the shame of my prodigal ways and the wonder of God’s gracious hand. I encouraged him to so love his wife that God would be glorified in that love.

His wife was and is a godly woman. She is now nurturing their two daughters on her own. She is faithful in pursuing God with her Christian church family. I am pretty sure that she is not celebrating her husband’s “anniversary.”

A Flawed Theology

This man’s post demonstrated not only that he has gone astray. He provides evidence that his theology is seriously flawed. The God he presents in his post looks less like the God revealed in the Bible and more like this man. That is the nature of deep sin. We tend to create a god in our own image rather than relate to the God who has created us in his image.

Notice his confusion over the identity of God in this statement.

A year ago destiny brought us together. It is as if God knew that we both needed something only the other could offer.

Destiny is not another name for the God of the Bible. Destiny often goes by its other name of Fate. This is a concept the leaves man robotic to some impersonal force of nature. In the religion of destiny, man is not accountable for his actions and sin is either minimized or eliminated.

The Bible reveals God as an involved creator to whom man must give an account for his actions. Since man is without excuse for his sin against this holy God, our only hope in the mercy that has been afforded us through the death of the perfect Son of God.

Praying Boldly

This man’s post is full of foolish statements. I will only cite one other in which he invokes the name of God.

I pray that God will keep you for me.

That is a bold prayer. Not bold like the Bible describes.

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
-Hebrews 4:16 KJV

Bold, biblical prayer requests mercy and grace in time of need. His prayer is bold in that he ask God’s help to continue in an adulterous relationship. He is asking God to be party to his sin.

Prodigals, like me, may have rushed headlong into sin and debauchery. But I did not knowingly ask for God’s help to do so. In fact, I found myself praying at times that God would get me out of the mess I had made.

I pray for this man with a profound grief in my heart. That his eyes would be opened to and by the God whom he has blasphemed. His return to the Father would give reason for a great celebration of joy. That celebration would surely surpass the celebration of a sinful anniversary.

Question: Have you ever experienced grief over some sin celebrated by others?