The young minister made a mental note of the attention-getting device. Later, when he was preaching, the congregation started evidencing boredom. He then loudly declared, "The best years of my life were spent in the arms of another man's wife..."
At this time, old ladies' mouths dropped open, old men woke up, and everyone stared wide-eyed in amazement. He had everyone's attention; but the shock made his mind go blank. He stuttered. He stumbled. He fiddled. And finally, he said, "And for the life of me, I just can't remember who she was."*
Unfortunately, this particular story, which I first heard years and years ago, now no longer has the ring of humor to it. Why is that? It is because we live in a day and age where infidelity and immorality abound. And sadly, this is true both outside and inside of the church. Thus, the humor of this story is lost in the fact that it actually reflects more of the norm than the exception in human behavior.
This past Sunday morning, we looked at the Apostle Paul’s admonition for followers of Jesus Christ to be above any such behavior. Indeed, he actually says in I Corinthians 5:11 that Christians should not knowingly associate with people who willfully and intentionally behave in such ways: “…you must not associate with anyone who calls himself a brother but is sexually immoral”.
Why does Paul take this harsh stance? Because he knows the damage we do to ourselves, to our loved ones, and above all, to our Lord when we choose to behave in impure and immoral ways. Let's be honest: few sins are as devastating to the cause of Christ as is public scandal over sexual immorality – and this is equally true for both those in the pulpit and those in the pew. May we all commit afresh and anew that we will dedicate ourselves to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in this area as in all other areas of our lives.
For as Paul says later in this same book (I Corinthians 6:13-20): “…The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body... Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never! Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, 'The two will become one flesh.' But he who unites himself with the Lord is one with Him in spirit.
Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a man commits are outside his body, but he who sins sexually sins against his own body. Do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, Who is in you, Whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore, honor God with your body.”