Shane Idleman on 7 Reasons Why Christian Leaders Fall

Writers Note: In light of many prominent pastors and Christian leaders stepping down, I decided to re-release this article.

Why do they fall? They fall for the same reason that all Christians fall.

Each of us is drawn away by our own evil desires and enticed. When these desires are acted upon, they lead to sin (see James 1:14-15). Sin has a life cycle—it either grows or withers depending on whether we feed or starve it. John Owen, the prolific Puritan author, wrote, “Be killing sin, or sin will be killing you.”

Consider the following ways that sin gains entrance:

  1. “It will never happen to me.” 1 Corinthians 10:12 reminds us that if we think that we are standing firm, we should be careful that we don’t fall. “Pride goes before destruction, and haughtiness before a fall” (Prov. 16:18). Pride says, “I’ve never committed adultery. It will never happen to me.” Humility says, “By the grace of God, I haven’t, but I can.”

Strength is found in admitting our weaknesses: “For when I am weak, then I am strong” (2 Cor. 12:10b). Pride opens the door to compromise and unwise decisions; it ignores conviction. Conviction is not always a hammer to the head, it’s a still small voice to the heart.

Sadly, many confuse God’s patience with His approval. C.H. Spurgeon rightly noted, “We are never, never so much in danger of being proud as when we think we are humble.”

  1. I’m “too busy.” We are all susceptible to putting God second and ministry first. If we’re too busy to cultivate a prayer life that places God first—we’re too busy. Men would live better if they prayed better. We’re often too busy because we’re doing too much. E.M. Bounds said, “When faith ceases to pray, it ceases to live.” It’s hard to fall when you’re always on your knees. Moral failing cannot gain a stronghold in a broken, praying heart that spends time in the Word and obedience to it (see James 1:22). Nine times out of ten, when a leader falls, he or she has no meaningful prayer or devotional life.
  2. Holiness is compromised. The enemy attempts to draw us away from God’s holy standard. I vividly remember a story of a young boy who kept falling out of his bed. He finally asked his mother why he kept falling. She wisely answered, “It’s because you don’t stay far enough in.” In the same way, many of us fall back into sin because we don’t get far enough into God’s framework of safety and protection via holiness. In the words of Isaac Watts, “True Christianity, where it reigns in the heart, will make itself appear in the purity of life.”

Of all the attributes of God described in the Bible, holiness is seen most often. Holiness is a vital weapon of defense against the enemy’s attack (see Eph. 6:14). But holiness must come from brokenness and humility, not legalism. A low view of holiness always damages morality—we rationalize instead of repent. I’m convinced that today’s media plays a significant role in the decline of holiness. Sadly, Hollywood, not the Holy Spirit, influences many. We cannot fill our mind with darkness all week and expect the light of Christ to shine in our lives.

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SOURCE: Charisma News

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