We’re All Weak

I heard a story once about a TV preacher (I can’t remember which one) who would not allow himself to be alone in a room with a woman who was not related to him. The teller gave me the story to make fun of the preacher, and by extension all TV preachers: what kind of man must he really be, they said, that he can’t trust his own self-control? Doesn’t sound like God’s doing much to help him out, does it?

But that preacher was on to something. Because self-control only works as long as we want it to–and when temptation is in front of us, it’s easy to convince ourselves that it’ll be okay just this once. That’s true of all temptation: sex, alcohol, food, rage, even laziness. It’s why people who succeed at getting healthy don’t have pantries full of potato chips and cookies. It’s why diligent workers keep their distractions in a separate space from where they work. It’s why good schools make it as difficult as possible for students to cheat.

We are weak, you and I everyone we know. Some of us are less weak than others. But we can all learn something from a preacher who took extreme measures to keep himself out of trouble.

Get rid of your temptations, as much as you can. You might find it easier to grow when you don’t have to rely on your iron self-discipline any more.

I've been a soldier, a dreamer, a working stiff, a leader. A husband, father, example (good and otherwise), and now a survivor. I write about courage, because courage is what enables us to accomplish the impossible. If you draw breath, I love you. If you love in whatever way seems best to you and want others to love in whatever way seems best to them, I am your ally. If you believe someone is less than you because they do not love the way you do, I oppose you. If you see someone as a threat to be abused or destroyed merely because they do not look like you, or love like you, or worship like you, I am your enemy. I am a joyful and courageous man. And I stand with you who love.
  • In most cases I know of, it’s not so much the fear of losing control but to avoid “the appearance of evil.” That way, you leave no question in others’ minds as to what might have gone on behind closed doors. It’s a good policy. Whoever made fun of the preacher was just nuts.

    • H. Scott Dalton

      I agree, Suzy. And by avoiding the appearance, he avoided the opportunity, as well. I think we can learn from his example, whether we’re famous or not. Thanks for your comment!

  • We all have weak spots. Great truth here

    • H. Scott Dalton

      Absolutely, Alyson. The easier we make it to do right, the easier it will be to summon our self-discipline when we need it. Thanks for your comment!