Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Pastor (11/30/06)
TITLE: Be Merciful to Me, a Sinner
By Shanti Singh
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“Sure,” I replied, as I patted the chair with one hand, and turned off my computer monitor with the other.
Marie sat down, crossed her arms, and leaned toward me. I couldn’t help but notice her low-cut blouse.
“Mike and I are having problems. Seems that we can’t even be in the same room together for more than two seconds without arguing.”
Marie went on and on about her marital woes, and although I nodded with understanding, and acted as if I was totally focused on helping her work through things, what I was really thinking about was what it would be like to hold her in my arms.
“I’ll be sure to pray for you and Mike” I promised.
“Thanks,” she replied, as she made her way toward the door.
“Would you mind closing the door on your way out?”
“Oh, sure. No problem” she said as she flashed her trademark smile.
<i> Let’s see now, where was I? Ah yes, the computer. </i>
I turned the monitor back on, and took in forbidden images that drew my attention and propelled my thoughts into dark caverns where no pastor’s mind should go. I knew it was wrong, but was it really hurting anyone? I mean, after all, it’s not like I’d ever actually act on my fantasies.
<i> Hmmm. . . I wonder what it would be like to be with Marie? </i> I mused as I continued to click on photo after photo.
“Do you have a minute?”
“Of course, Tim. I always have time for the other pastors on staff of our church.”
“What can I do for you?”
Tim took a seat. His face turned red, he cracked his knuckles, and looked everywhere but in my eyes.
“Um, you see, I have a problem.”
“You know, you can tell me anything, Tim. What is it?”
“Whew” he said, as he blew out a big breath of air. “Um, I’m afraid to tell you this because I know it might cost me my job. But I just can’t hold this in any longer.”
“Tell me what’s bothering you.”
“Well, I didn’t really mean to get into it. It was innocent enough the first time. I mean, I got an email, and it had a link that was supposedly for life insurance, but when I clicked on it, it took me to a porn site.”
“So what did you do?”
“That’s the bad part. I looked, and kept looking, and I’ve been looking ever since.”
“Hmmm. . . that is bad.”
“Have you ever had that problem?”
“Well, no, Tim, can’t say that I have.”
<i>What kind of a liar and deceiver am I?</i>
“Tim, wait a minute. I just lied. I do struggle. I struggle quite a bit, in fact. One of the biggest problems is I’ve been afraid to talk to anyone about this. Everyone has such high expectations for pastors.”
“Yeah, I know what you mean. So what do we do?”
“Well, I have an idea. Just the other day I got an email about a program that may be helpful to us. It’s called, <i>Covenant Eyes</i>. It tracks all of your Internet activity, and then sends a log of visited websites to an accountability partner. Would you like to be accountability partners?”
“Yes! I really need help.”
“So do I. Let’s start by praying together.”
We knelt together on my office floor and bowed our heads, as I led out in prayer. “Lord, be merciful to me, a sinner."
"Yes, Father. Forgive us our trespasses, and lead us not into temptation. And help us, Lord, to walk in humility and honesty as we seek to serve You in integrity as we minister Your grace to others.”
<i>Somehow, I think I’ll be able to stand with my brother by my side. </i>
<i>Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself, lest you also be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself </i> (Galatians 6:1-3 NKJV).
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