Here’s the way it works for so many men. Does this sound the least bit familiar?
Act now; listen to what my heart is telling me later . . . I’ll cross that bridge when I get to it.
One of the biggest lies you and I are drawn in to believing is that we’re smart enough, clever enough, and strong enough to act foolishly or sinfully now because down the road, we’ll be able to figure it out.
Pastors fall; news anchors are found out; successful businessmen’s pasts come to light. But today’s headlines aren’t the only place to find stories confirming this tragic truth. The Bible includes a few as well.
When David saw Bathsheba bathing on her rooftop, it seems impossible that he forgot God’s prohibition against adultery. But He believed the lie that his role as the king, his absolute regal power would give him what he would need to “work this out later.” His racing heart prevailed. So he slept with her. Actually, because of his place of authority, more like raped her.
Do you wonder how well David was able to put this horrible travesty behind him in the ensuing weeks? Actually, I’m guessing that, given David’s willingness to commit adultery and then cover it up by having her husband murdered, he did just fine. The easily-distracted and proud king got busy with his monarchial duties. Busy, busy. Then, one day, Nathan the prophet rained on his parade, cold-busting him with the truth.
Once David knew he had been found out, emotions that should have shouted in the first place overwhelmed him. A reading of Psalm 51 paints a life-size mural of David’s profound regret for making a bad decision . . . two bad decisions.
The foundational lie to which you and I are most susceptible is grounded less in gullibility and more in pride. In the moment, we think we know better than God. We know in our hearts and our consciences what is right, but we choose what is wrong. Sometimes we believe the lie that God will not notice. Sometimes we believe the lie that God will not care. Always we believe the lie that somehow it will work out. And so, we go ahead and do what we want to do. We’ll cross that ol’ bridge later.
Back in the Garden, Adam knew that God would not be pleased with his actions. Adam knew he and God disagreed, but the man was foolish enough to think he was right and God was wrong . . . or at least, he could go ahead with this travesty of disobedience and God would understand and forgive.
In the pages of my new book, Lies Men Believe: And the Truth that Sets Them Free, we consider the kinds of lies that men believe. We are susceptible to believing them, like Adam, because of our pride. We think of ourselves as thoughtful and in control, and we downplay the reality of our emotions, our desires, the things we hunger for. We think of ourselves better prognosticators than the God who planned all things from beginning to end. We think we can see the future, disbelieving God and believing ourselves.
We are called to be obedient soldiers in God’s kingdom. As men, we need to embrace a desire to walk with Him like Adam did at the beginning, as loving husband-shepherds seeking to reflect our Good Shepherd, as fathers seeking to reflect the character of our great Father, or simply as men, who want to live a holy life. We must take every thought—and every emotion—captive to the obedience of Christ (2 Cor. 10:5).
You may be on the threshold of making a really bad decision. You may be in the middle of a bunch of bad decisions and are planning to cross the bridge of facing up to them down the road . . . crossing the bridge when you get there.
If this is you, the Bible contains two promises:
1. Your time will run out; your sin will be exposed (Gal 6:7).
2. When you repent, God is faithful for forgive you (1 John 1:9).
This is good news. It really is. Every time.
For more of this good news, and to consider more of the ways we try to “cross that ol’ bridge”, pick up a copy of Lies Men Believe. A brand new book from one soldier to another. I think you’ll be glad you did.