There always seems to be some sort of news of a scandal or shameful practices concerning professing Christians. Somewhere a pastor or professing Christian’s secret life of rampant sin gets revealed. As a result, we all (rightly) lose our collective breaths and our stomaches turn.
Then questions come. Why? How did this happen?
I remember hearing John MacArthur say,
“Nobody just falls out of a tree. They climb up in it, move around a bit, and then fall out.”
His point is obvious: this doesn’t happen overnight.
As a pastor who wants to be diligent in these things, I’ve observed something of a spiritual axiom. Where a secret life is present, a secret prayer life is absent.
In other words, (as I believe someone else has said) you go bad in private before you go bad in public. A person cannot be regularly pouring out his heart in praise, confession and petition to the God of heaven with a ton of dirt from his secret life under his fingernails. In fact, in every case of pastoral counseling when something surprising drops I ask, “How long have you been negligent in prayer?” The answer always corresponds with the sin.
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SOURCE: The Gospel Coalition