i've blogged in the past about a recent "moral failure" - i'm not talented enough to give you a link to it, but i'm sure most of my readers are familiar. anyway, this set of bad decisions included some people from school, and i worked through it, repented, talked to a minister at church, and moved on. or, so i thought.
three specific people were involved - person A, and persons B and C.
i was on the phone with person A, and she and her roomie had just moved to a house near my church, and person A's roomie asked where i went to church.
i'll repeat myself - oy.
so, i tell her, and it turns out that she has a history with pentecost, and that their new house is really dang close to my church, and that she wants to come and visit and hear the IBC choir sing. some witness i was.
and now, persons B and C. i have another friend that i've talked about that grew up apostolic, and is not currently in church. we've talked and become great friends, and i love her and pray for her and care about her, and i want to see her get back in church. she once told me that when we hang out, i convict her.
my moral lapse involved persons B and C, and i figured it was isolated to that. i walked out of a building on campus, and person C sees me and shouts out "hey, b-rad!" (yes, i go by b-rad with most of my friends. fo shizzle.) i respond and wave, and then there's ... my backslidden friend.
oy. yet again. oy.
i don't know if person C said anything to my friend about me making a really dumb decision and how i'm a terrible christian because of it, but ... it was awkward.
i'm finding that my poor decisions don't affect just me - they affect my witness. they affect the ministry. even if i never invite that person to church (which, by the way, is another HUGE problem that would require at least one more blog entry), what happens if they or someone they know starts visiting and sees me - brad the hypocrite.
"give no offense in any thing, that the ministry be not blamed."
"that ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world;"
the hardest part of it all is knowing that i may, very well, cause someone else to stumble. what happens if i've put up a stumbling block? i'm afraid of the answer.