That another man fell into sin as a result of sexual impropriety doesn’t surprise me. It sobers me. It makes me afraid that I’ll do the same thing someday, maybe without even being sensitive to it. Certainly these guys are smart, well educated, and often spiritually sensitive men, at least at some point in their lives. But something happens. Frankly, its not the purpose of this post to suggest possibilities. What I want to simply note is the content of the confession.
Confession is more than simply stating the facts. It’s acknowledged remorse and regret not for the inconvenience of the act or the humiliation of the act but for the ugliness and downright evil of the act itself. Confession doesn’t say, “Well, I held hands and touched feet and hair but it wasn’t sexual.” Baloney! Who’s he trying to kid? Confession would say, “While my actions didn’t include intercourse, they included many activities that were sexual in nature and thus damaging to the women involved as well as to my ministry. Furthrmore, the fact that I didn’t see that reality, while involving myself in those activities, is as great a cause for alarm as the activities themselves. I’m getting help and have sought to reconcile with all involved. I am deeply ashamed of my insensitivity and behavior and will step aside indefinitely so that I am no longer a hinderance to the work of God.” That’s confession.
So, in short, confession isn’t “I made a mistake” or “I goofed” or “I did this or that but it wasn’t really that bad” or “I took the money but really didn’t steal it” or “I mistated the facts but it wasn’t intended to be a lie.” Confession owns up to what was done wrong within tactfully appropriate bounds. It’s that simple and that straight forward. May God help us all to become more sensitive to our actions. But when we do fail, may God help us to actually admit it, and confess it, rather than explain it away.