Bishopman had a good post on freedom and decisions recently. As did Kurt's Korner on the wisdom of decisions. I was thinking about that this morning as I listened to sports talk radio in Detroit discuss the legal troubles of Detroit Lion's player Shaun Rogers. It is alleged that he was in a seedy strip club in Detroit and groped a stripper in her dressing room. She also alleges that he was carrying a gun, which is a mandatory 2-year felony if he was in possession of a gun during the commission of a felony.
The Sean Baligian made a great point on WDFN this morning about our responsibility to others. In this case, he is talking about Sean Roger's responsibility to his team, his family, and himself. Even if he did not do what is alleged, he was in an awful situation where nothing good can happen. With all of the legal troubles in the NFL, this was just plain stupid. It's not like Shaun Rogers is unknown in this city. He is 300+ pounds and his face is on television every Sunday in the fall. What he did may or not be a crime. It may also be a money grab on the young lady's part. I don't know what the truth is. But I do know that Shaun Rogers made a series of bad decisions that got him to this point. And now his name, and his teammates names, are being dragged through the mud.
Too many in the church have this same selfish attitude about their lives. It's as if they can do what they want and it doesn't affect others. Nothing could be farther from the truth. When a Christian sins, the entire body suffers. When the world sees bad behavior from Christians, we are all tarred with that brush. Just like Shaun Rogers' teammates are all looked at a little differently now. People are thinking "What kind of organization is that?" about the Lions. The same thing happens when prominent and ordinary Christians fall.
Take heed of Kurt's advice here:
Here's what I'm taking away from these verses based on the following scripture:
"As I stood at the window of my house
looking out through the shutters,
Watching the mindless crowd stroll by,
I spotted a young man without any sense
Arriving at the corner of the street where she lived,
then turning up the path to her house.
It was dusk, the evening coming on,
the darkness thickening into night.
Just then, a woman met him—
she'd been lying in wait for him, dressed to seduce him."
(Proverbs 7:6-10, The Message)
1. Only the mindless even "stroll by" temptation's dwelling. The smart person in this text (the narrator) was observing from a distance. He was safe and sound in his own home, "looking out through the shutters." Who was frequenting the corner of Mindless and Senseless? "The mindless crowd." How often are we mindless about the temptations we're susceptible to, only to fall?
2. Giving in to temptation requires action on my part. The "young man" being observed in this text isn't a passive victim; he's more like Samson, flirting with disaster as he (a) arrives at the adulteress' corner, (b) walks up the path to her house, (c) at night. Even though v. 10 says the adulteress had been "lying in wait for him," she would have had to wait all night long if this young man had simply avoided this danger zone altogether. When we "end up doing something wrong," it's not as if we were ambushed. We were close enough to the problem to do something wrong in the first place!
3. You can always walk away - even when you've been ambushed. Even though this young man did every wrong thing he could possibly do, the temptress didn't tackle him, drag him into her bedroom, and forcibly take advantage of him. That was her intent - she was lying in wait, "dressed to seduce him" - but even when she surprised him with her offer, he could have walked away. So can I. And so can you.
Let's do ourselves a favor and just stay away from the tempting corner of Mindless and Senseless.That is some great advice. Many problems can be avoided by staying out of situations where nothing good can happen. Some to consider are;
1) Parties with large numbers of people and volumes of alcohol
2) Being out after 1:00 a.m. Unless you are working, there is little good that can happen.
3) Going to places where criminals and seedy folks are known to hang out.
4) Going anywhere your wise friends are cautioning you against. In Mr. Roger's case, reports say that his coaches have instructed the players to avoid these types of establisments.
We can learn a hard lesson from this. I pray we don't have to learn it first-hand.