• Today's Daily Devotion
Fallen Heroes
GUYS,” HE SAID, “I’m hurting. One of my heroes in the faith has just fallen, and I had to be the one who exposed his sin.”

Rick Barton, Fire Safety Officer; Rick Barton Ministries, Gunnison, CO; Fellowship of Christian Firefighters International Ambassador-at-Large


Sin will be exposed

GUYS,” HE SAID, “I’m hurting. One of my heroes in the faith has just fallen, and I had to be the one who exposed his sin.”

I’d just reported for a seminar along with six other men. One of the guys seemed pretty distraught. As he shared his story, our hearts broke with him. His former youth pastor, who had been his mentor, the one who had discipled his wife and him, had become entangled in sin. This man resisted accountability and eventually slipped into an immoral relationship with a teenage girl. My friend, now a pastor on the same church staff, received a tip. Along with the senior pastor they discovered them in a motel room.

“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.” (Galatians 6:7)

The youth pastor had been a legend in the community. For thirty years he’d served in the church. When rumors began to surface of improper conduct, they were brushed off. After all, he was “the Man.” The other pastors asked him to follow a set of common sense safeguards: don’t counsel girls alone, don’t give them rides home without someone else in the car, etc.

He ignored the rules. Eventually, the other pastors laid the law down. No more improper meetings or you’re fired. He announced he was leaving; a huge retirement party was planned for this much-loved friend. Then the “tip” came and the discovery was made, followed by public disgrace.

He was immediately terminated. His family and many others were deeply hurt. His legacy of almost three decades was destroyed.

Why is it that we think God doesn’t care about sin in our lives? Why do we fail to understand that God meant what he said for us not to be deceived, to understand that God cannot be mocked, and understand that we will reap what we sow (Galatians 6:7).

Please remember two things: First, God is not mocked. Our sin will be exposed and we will suffer punishment for it. Second, our sin never affects only us. It hurts our families, friends, and co-workers, as well as untold numbers of folks who look up to us. As firefighters, husbands or wives, parents, and Christians, remember—folks we don’t even know are watching us. Let’s set up good safeguards for our conduct. Let’s seek and welcome accountability, and when we begin to stray, let’s seek his face and ask our fellow Christians to help us “fly straight.”


God, I know you can’t be mocked. If I stray, please bring fellow Christians to guide my path so I will “fly straight.”

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