Brad Ruggles

The Art Of Living

There’s A Monster At The End of This Post

I-am-so-scared-of-monsters-082757

monster-at-the-end-of-this-book-074256One of my favorite Little Golden Books as a kid was The Monster at the End of this Book. It was a great moment when we received this book as a gift and I was able to read it to my kids.

I got hours of enjoyment sitting down with Emily and pleading with her in my best Grover voice,

PLEASE DON’T TURN THE PAGE!!

She would of course. With each new page turned poor Grover would beg and plead to stop turning pages for fear of finding the monster at the end of the book.

Until we turned the last page and found that the monster at the end of the book? Yup, turns out it was lovable, furry old Grover the whole time.

Anger & Disappointment

This past week the church world was rocked with another disappointment. I don’t need to add any additional commentary to what has already been said by other bloggers I respect. I want to talk instead about how we as Christians are supposed to react to this kind of news. Because if the scandals of the last 24 months serve as an indication of future failures, we have many more of these stories yet to be uncovered.

I’ll be honest with you. My first reaction to these kind of stories is a mix of disappointment and anger. Disappointment, because yet another person I admired let me down. And anger, because I know that once again, the name of Christ will get drug through the mud because of another person who thought they could live a double-life and get away with it.

Looking For Monsters

Why do we find it so easy to point our fingers at the “monsters” we see in the church today? Sure we’re upset about it but can we so arrogantly cast blame when it could have just as easily been you or me?

Far too often I’m so busy trying to remove the splinter from my neighbor’s eye that I’m tripping over the plank in my own.

Don’t get me wrong – I am in no way excusing deceit and hypocrisy in the church. What Michael did was wrong. Nor am I condoning sweeping stories like this under the rug. However, let’s remember that we’re really not that different.

The moment that we begin to think of ourselves as immune to these kind of shortcomings it the moment we’re most in danger of falling. As Paul warned, If you think you are standing strong, be careful, for you, too, may fall into the same sin. (1 Corinthians 10:12)

Like Grover, we may find that if we keep turning the pages, WE are in fact the monster at the end of the story. We’re all capable of lust, greed, hypocrisy and deception in the worst way.

There, but for the grace of God, go I.

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