Ashley Madison – most of us are quite familiar with that name by now. It is a website that promised secrecy to those who were seeking an affair. However, as we recently found out, that promise of secrecy was shattered when a hacker released millions of account details. Reports also showed they had female members, many of whom were not active outside of the initial sign-up. This promise of secrecy was broken, details were ultimately exposed and lives, marriages and reputations were destroyed as they succumbed to curiosity and the pull of sin.
As we read the reports of the impact of the leak, we heard of Christian men who were members of the site. Some of these men who were exposed were in positions of influence and some were actively involved in ministry. They were all found out and are now reaping the consequences of their curiosity and compromise. It is wrong for us as Christian men to be visiting sites such as Ashley Madison. In fact, it’s just plain sinful. But how did we, as Christian men, get to the point where we were willing to compromise our beliefs and values, not to mention the very Word of God, to create a secondary lifestyle of secrecy and deceit?
Over the last few weeks, various blog posts and mainstream media were full of articles about the fallout from the leak. It seems the fallout will continue for quite some time, especially for those in relationships and marriages. I wonder though if the Christian men that visited Ashley Madison felt that they could be honest and vulnerable about their thoughts, temptations and sinful desires with other men in their church or men’s group? And if so, could they have been helped in some way?
The question these men faced was, “Are we committed to walking in honesty and vulnerability in our relationship with God and with one another?” If we choose to shun that commitment then living a lifestyle of secrecy and deceit isn’t hard; it will simply be a by-product of the choice we make. If that commitment to be honest and vulnerable is made a part of our lives, then we will most likely be the kind of men who will shun the curiosity of sinful temptations such as Ashley Madison. As you and I choose to be honest and vulnerable within safe and trusting environments, then we will see that our choices reflect a lifestyle that makes no distinction between our public and private lives.
My challenge to you is to see that while your private life may be hidden to the casual observer, what you do in private will always affect those closest to you. Always. So let’s embrace honesty and vulnerability and leave the unholy curiosity of our old nature behind.
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