Moral Tasers

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Moral Tasers

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We've seen a rash of this recently…

A public figure holds a tearful press conference after details of scandalous activity have been exposed. Or sordid facts about a celebrity's life are publicized after his or her death.

Sometimes even the family didn't know the sorry details. Reputations are tarnished and families humiliated.

The results are devastating—as if they'd been hit with a moral taser.

Paying the price

I often wonder, "How did such people think they could get away with this behavior?" Apparently it just never occurred to them that it would end in their public humiliation.

But it's not just the rich and famous. We all have a remarkable capacity to rationalize our behavior and fool ourselves into believing we can hide our moral lapses—and that others will never know.

While most of us will never have our dirty laundry hung outside for the whole world to see on TV, it is a principle that things have a way of coming out. When unethical behavior at school or work, sexual immorality, substance abuse or any other sinful behavior occurs, laws are set in motion that will eventually bring those things to light.

We may seem to get away with something for a while, but in due course we pay the price.

No cover-ups

A prime example of this law was King David of Israel in the Bible. He had an illicit sexual relationship with beautiful Bathsheba that led to a pregnancy. His attempted cover-up resulted in the murder of her husband Uriah.

If anyone was in a position to successfully hide the truth, it was David. He had phenomenal power in the nation, yet God used a prophet to expose David's sin. He got away with nothing and paid a high price for his moral failure.

I've lost track of how many times coworkers have lost jobs because behavior they thought was secret became known. The one thing they all had in common was that they didn't think anyone knew. They thought they'd found a way to beat the system.

But it's a system that can't be beat—because God set it up. Everything we do, we do before our all-knowing Creator. "You have set our iniquities before You, our secret sins in the light of Your countenance" (Psalm 90:8). Even if by chance we appear to get away with habitual sin before man, God still sees it.

We can change

No one's perfect. We all sin. But what happens when deep down we want to change and work hard to do better? God is quick to forgive and to help.

As Christians striving to be more like Jesus Christ, we're not to be in the business of covering up sin. We're in the business of rooting it out. God is perfecting our character. He wants us to face our spiritual shortcomings and deal with them.

Avoiding moral tasers

Moral tasers effectively bring problems to our attention, but they're also devastating. It's like the alcoholic who hits rock bottom before he realizes he has a problem. It's great that he finally came to that realization, but it sure would have been better if he'd seen the warning signs earlier.

Avoiding these tasers means thinking differently, as you can read in "Spiritual Quotient: The Type of Smarts We Don't Learn in School."

Isn't it better to honestly recognize our faults and ask God for forgiveness and for His help to change our ways? Why try to fool ourselves by covering up bad behavior?

Better to be proactive and learn the lesson of the moral taser from those we see on TV. VT