All weekend I have felt a burden for a pastor who lost the battle. We are in war against sin, and any of us can lose the battle. One time they brought an adulterous woman before Jesus, caught in the act. The Law said she should be stoned, and the teachers of the law and the Pharisees who had brought in the woman were ready to pick up the stones. Jesus said to them, “If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.” No one could, because we all have sin, and at this, the accusers began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. He didn’t condemn her, but declared, “Go now and leave your life of sin.” (Read the story in John 8:1-11.)
Many times, when someone has “sinned” we are so ready to pick up the stones. We need to remember that we are all sinners. The people who are in leadership positions are more exposed and at the scrutiny of those they lead.
Thinking about this and praying for my brother who has “failed,” I was asking myself what we can do. More than ever we need to hold up your Pastor in prayer. If you are a Christian, you have a Pastor (or you should have!). If you are in a big church, you have several pastors. Hold them up in prayer daily. Pray that the will overcome temptations.
Here is an interesting story of what happened in the camp of Israel:
The Amalekites came and attacked the Israelites at Rephidim. 9 Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.” 10 So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron and Hur went to the top of the hill. 11 As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. 12 When Moses’ hands grew tired, they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up — one on one side, one on the other — so that his hands remained steady till sunset. 13 So Joshua overcame the Amalekite army with the sword.
Moses was praying for victory, and as long as he held up his hands, the Israelites were winning. But his arms got tired and he lowered them. Then the enemies were winning! So Aaron and Hur gave him a stone to sit on, and then they held up his hands.
Let’s you and I be the ones who hold up the hand of our leader. Pray for strength in the battle against sin. Pray that he stay strong in fighting temptations. I learned early on about the three main areas of temptations for leaders: power, money and women. Pray earnestly that your pastor avoid these pitfalls. Be and Aaron and a Hur!
And if he should fail, don’t be the one to pick up a stone to hurt him even more. I can assure you that if he has failed, he is hurting. Be like Jesus—forgive the wrongdoing. I know there are consequences, and sometimes they are very painful. And many innocent people have to pay those consequences together with the “sinner,” especially the immediate family.
Reach out in love to the hurting. Ask God to show you how to best do it. Love and don’t judge.
This is what Jesus said about judging:
“Do not judge, or you too will be judged. 2 For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you. 3 “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
Let the love of Christ shine through in everything you do!