Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: BROKEN (12/06/18)
TITLE: From Hero to Zero
By Bonnie Kronberger
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I could still hear the principal’s voice. “Al, your classroom computer has been logged on to pornography sites. What do you know about that?
My mind was racing. “How could I have been so stupid? Maybe I should lie and blame it on a student. They couldn’t prove otherwise. Why oh why didn’t I resisted temptation?”
My voice was shaky and breathless when I finally spoke. “I’m sorry Mr. Decker. I made a really bad decision on the computer.” From hero to zero in a moment.
The year had been golden. Married in August, started my first teaching job in September. I loved teaching advanced high school math. The students were smart and funny and I developed a great rapport with them. I also helped coach boys basketball and had recently been offered the job of JV coach. The boys seemed as excited as I was.
Now this. Disgrace! How could I tell my bride? Not only had I lost my career, I had defiled our marriage. Oh, how I longed for a do-over, back to my high school days of youth group, summer evangelism ministries, and a heart committed to following after Jesus.
All through college I stayed involved in church and Christian fellowship with my roommates, but the condition of my heart was being changed in secret ways—an occasional look at computer pornography.
God blessed me with a precious girlfriend. Our long distance romance helped to keep passions under control and we married soon after college graduation. We intended to be a light for Christ.
Now I sat in the car, my head hung in shame. My sin had come to light. In anguish I cried out to my Father for forgiveness. My heart broke at my betrayal of His love and the grief I would lay upon my wife. I groaned out to God my despair over my sin, and eventually believed God’s forgiveness restored my soul. I headed for home, poor in spirit, contrite in heart.
Days of confession and conversation followed. Such forgiveness and grace from those who loved me. My wife was amazing in her gentle forgiveness, yet the fallout from my sin hung heavy over her for many years.
I set up computer locks on websites, put every watch guard in place to track my viewing, and had accountability partners to question and encourage me to spiritual and mental health. I met with my basketball team and confessed the reason for losing my job.
So many ways to be broken and humbled as I wondered about the future.
“Lord Jesus, thank you for Your mercy and grace regarding my sin. Thank you for bringing me back to the fold. Give me wisdom and strength to resist temptation. And Lord, show me what to do for a job. I want to be in Your will, Amen.” I rose from my knees, secure in the knowledge that He was with me. I was surrendered to what was to come.
Weeks later, I walked through the door of a Christian high school for an appointment with the principal. Private schools do not require licensed teachers so this was a possible job opportunity. I had decided from the beginning of my fall from grace to be transparent about my circumstances. My heart was beating a mile a minute as the interview began and my story unfolded.
With unbelievable mercy this man of God spoke. “Son, you are not the first child of God to fail in your walk with Him. I have had my own failures. But we never lose our chance to turn away from sin and our Lord and Savior never turns away from a repentant heart. You’ve turned from your sin and I won’t judge you for it.”
Thus began years of teaching and working with a man who exemplified Christ and mentored me in truth and grace. When he retired and with his blessing, I became principal. I aspire to also lead in truth and grace.
How can it be? A broken man made whole! God’s redemption is always on the way to rescue, recover, and restore those who believe and receive.
Based on a true story
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