I was in my early twenties.
- A Bible College student.
- Starry-eyed with dreams of being a missionary or children’s pastor.
The leaders at the school seemed like superheroes to me. I was in awe.
Then came Valentine’s day.
“Hey,” someone yelled during break time, “Valentine’s candy.”
Couldn’t pass that up. I loved sweets. But, I didn’t have a boyfriend to buy me any. I had no way to get to town.
So, I ran outside and joined the students jostling around a fancy oversized box of chocolates. After agonizing over which one to choose, I grabbed a nut filled blob and walked over to my friends.
“Isn’t this great?” I said.
My friends just stared at me. Then, one by one, they tossed their chocolates in a nearby pond.
“Throw yours in too,” they demanded.
“We know who the candy is really for,” one of them announced. Her explanation was not pleasant.
One of my class mates had received this very box of candy from
- a Christian leader.
- a married man.
- Someone I respected very much.
Earlier, this young woman had shown my friends the accompanying card. The leader’s signature scrawled on a sticky note inside.
Was it true?
To this day, I am not certain. But, I had heard things in the month previous. I had seen situations involving the leader and this young lady that seemed a bit odd. Up to this point I ignored my suspicions. Hoped I was just imagining things.
Not long after that Valentine’s Day, it became public. The inappropriate behavior of this leader.
People were stunned. Some even devastated.
To many of them , this guy had not only been their leader, he had been their
- Emotional road map.
- High priest to God Himself.
I was one of the devastated ones.
It took a while for me to recover. To take responsibility. Not for the leader’s mess, but for my own reaction. I had to face what I had done –
- Shut my brain off upon coming to Bible College.
- Abdicated the responsibility of my spiritual growth to another human being.
Not a good thing to do.
God gave us the intellect to question. The spiritual ability to discern.
Bottom line – We Christians need to grow up. Grasp truth for ourselves. Understand it. Use it wisely to
- make important decisions.
- support leaders with integrity and wisdom.
Be assured, a godly leader will not feel threatened we take responsibility for our own spiritual lives. He will rejoice that his followers are finally growing up.