No I’m not about to give you personal dirt on me, though there is plenty to give. Rather what this post is about is how one persons reflections on the power of sin at work in my general vocation and calling can damage lives. His reflections have been stirring within my own soul.

The Context: I was at a mens retreat a couple weeks back and the topic of the retreat was on “God and the workplace.” Tom Woods, an Atlanta church planting guru/head of the New Churches Network was the guest speaker. Tom had it in his head that it would be effective if he had the guys breakup into small groups to discuss the main session messages – he was right.

In my guy group we were talking about how sin effects our work environments and the discussion finally came around to what that means inside the church leader culture. I thought I had a grip on the topic and began to share but someone interjected something that has stayed with me ever sense.

The Message: Here’s what he shared with me;

Tony I imagine for you when sin exposes itself in your life it not only affects your relationships with other pastors, but all of us. Much like what happens in my family when my sin makes marks on my wife and kids lives…

The Effect: Yes that sound in the background you just heard was the noise my jaw makes as it hits the floor. Wow, you know I’ve been more than awake at the nature of sin in my marital life and how it affects my wife and how hers affects me but I’ve given little thought to that same dynamic happening in the lives of those I serve. Ouch…it hurts to think about.

Its one thing to recognize as a believer the ‘forensic’ effects of sin in your relational standing with God, its quiet another to see sin along inter-relational lines. To see it as something that other’s wear on their faces after you’ve committed it. To see it in the way they then go and deal with life. God forgive me, forgive all the people you call to leadership in the body of your people. Cause us to repent and believe, to turn from our sin, and restore those who’ve been wounded by our sin.

Sin is not something we do against an ‘impersonal’ moral code, its something we do against you and those created in your image, its also something others do to us, God heal all these in the name and power of your one and only Son, Jesus Christ…

(Photographic art by ThunderChild5, piece entitled “Man in the Mirror“)