Tim Challies here with a reflection on a recent news story involving Jack Schaap, a prominent pastor who left his cell phone on the pulpit, only to have it found by a deacon who saw a picture message pop up which implicated the 54-year-old Schaap in a sexual relationship with a 16-year-old girl.
Challies writes very well on the supposed friendship of sin:
Sin makes so many promises. Sin promises joy, it promises fulfillment. Sin promises to be your friend. When you first meet a new friend you reveal only little bits of who you are, what you believe, what is important to you. But over time, if that friendship is to grow, you need to reveal more and more of yourself, you need to open yourself up. Friendship grows out of the vulnerability of allowing another person to see who you really are beneath the polite exterior. Sin asks you to give just a little bit more of yourself to it every time. Just a bit more. Just a bit more after that. But over time sin comes to own you. It comes to know everything there is to know about you. And then it stabs you in the back and laughs with glee as you are left sputtering and humiliated and destroyed. It laughs as your marriage is destroyed, as your church is shamed, as your friends are betrayed. That’s the kind of friend it is.
Can’t you see sin having the last laugh here? Schaap didn’t have to leave his phone on the pulpit. A deacon did not have to fetch it. That girl did not have to send a text message at that moment. The message did not have to contain anything explicit. The deacon did not have to be a man of integrity who would make it known to the rest of the church. None of these things had to be the way they were. Yet that is exactly how it unfolded. The deacon picked up the phone and looked as the message showed up and saw the picture of the pastor and the girl. And sin broke out in gales of laughter. Sin rejoiced when his friend was exposed as a hypocrite, an adulterer, a fraud. Sin had the last laugh.
This is what sin does. This is who sin is. Sin is the friend who is so much worse than any enemy.