I've told you before that this blog is not about me having arrived and telling you how it should be. They are at least part confessional. For all of my high-falutin', philosophical writing, I can really blow it when the rubber meets the road, in the "real world." Sometimes the process of becoming Christlike seems like 1 step forward and 2 steps back. I took about 10 steps back last week. Here's how it happened:
A single, female, co-worker asked me for help because her car was in the shop. She said she would pay for my lunch if I would take her to get hers. So, we went to a sandwich shop together and had lunch. This was a profound lapse in my judgement. I potentially could have compromised her reputation, my reputation and most of all, Christ's reputation. I did not adequately consider my wife's opinion and feelings about the situation. I did not consider the past track record I have with my wife and that I do not (and might never) have her complete trust. Sure, I know that my intentions and her intentions were innocent, but the appearance of it could be misinterpreted. I did not consider my position as a married man and role-model/counsellor to many and how it could be damaged by the appearance of going to lunch with an single, female co-worker. And, it must be true that every extra-marital affair starts with a "first step." The fact is, I rushed to be "helpful" and to look like a "good guy," when in reality I could have figured out a bunch of ways to help which would leave intact my wife's feelings, my co-worker's reputation, my reputation and Christ's reputation.
I have heard the stories about how Billy Graham would never even be alone in an elevator with a woman, to keep his reputation (and Christ's) unvarnished. He would not close the door to his office if there was a woman inside. I guess I've never considered myself in Billy Graham's league, but I am married and I am a role-model/counsellor to others. Thinking about it now, I would never counsel another husband that it would be a good idea to go to lunch alone with a female co-worker.
So, it's 2 (10?) steps back....I've apologized to my wife and asked for her forgiveness, which she's given. But the new track record I was trying to create has been de-railed and it's going to take some time to get it re-aligned and re-connected. Some "mistakes" (this one in judgement) have greater consequences than others. Hope we can all learn by my mistakes. I'm sure that there's more to this story than I have talked about here. I'm not trying to trivialize it by being brief. More to follow...