A Sad, All-Too-Common Story

A Sad, All-Too-Common Story

Tom Sullivan grew up in a Christian home and was in church every time the doors opened. At the age of 18, he married his high school sweetheart, a strong Christian woman who had also grown up in a Christian family. Not long after they were married, she became pregnant with their first child, John. A couple years later, Mark was born. When the boys were teenagers, Tom was selected to be an elder at his church. Everyone admired the Sullivans and wished they could have a perfect family like that, and the truth was, although the Sullivans weren’t perfect, they did love God and each other … until their world turn upside down.

When Tom was around 40 years old, he left his family and moved in with a young lady that he worked with. He didn’t mean for the affair to happen but, in a moment of weakness it had, and instead of repenting of his indiscretion, he indulged it until his desire for self-gratification became more important than his love for his family.

Needless to say, the family was devastated and the church was in shock. If Tom Sullivan couldn’t make it, how could anyone?!?!

This story is fictitious but I have heard similar stories through the years, and they never cease to break my heart. How can someone who seemed to have a strong relationship with the Lord suddenly walk away without any thought for his miserable state?

I don’t know what happens to people to make them choose sin over abundant life, but I expect that more often than not, it is rooted in pride, over-inflated thoughts as to what they “deserve.” Christ calls you to “deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Me” (Mark 8:34, Luke 9:23, Matthew 16:24); the world says, “You deserve to be happy.” Christ says, “Turn the other cheek” (Luke 6:29, Matthew 5:39); the world says, “Don’t let people treat you like that.” We have become a society that is muddled about truth because we don’t know the Word of God and yet the world’s philosophy screams loudly.

My friends, Christ’s message was not, “If it feels good, do it.” In fact, if it feels too good, you might want to question whether you should be doing it. This is not to say that it’s wrong to have fun. I used to think that anything I enjoyed was wrong, which included Christian concerts, but this is not necessarily the case. There are, however, certain things that Scripture is clear about which are wrong regardless of how right they may feel. We need to make sure everything we do and say are in line with God’s Word, not what is necessarily accepted in society. I’m tired of the world using us as examples as to why they don’t want to follow Christ. Let’s change our mindset and become the reason that others desire to know Christ and the life that He gives.


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Sony Elise

Sony has been an avid southern gospel fan since she first heard The Happy Goodman Family on a cassette in the mid-1980s. She is the co-founder of Family Renewal and the owner of Sony Elise Editing Services.

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