On Saturday Ben Roethlisberger took a deep sigh of relief when he found out he would not be charged with sexual assault charges in an incident that took place in March. This was the second time that Big Bens name had been brought up in a sexual assault case. In his previous incident, no charges were filled, but there were accusations against Ben that were leaked to the media. The events that took place in March, at a college bar in Milledgeville, Ga, was a shock consider what had taken place a couple of months before.
The rumors have been swirling about the truth of these accusations. More importantly people are asking why a 28 professional athlete would be in a college bar and putting himself in a situation with a 20 year old college female in a bathroom stall. You can see how many people would jump to the conclusion of guilt. Officially the announcement that no charges will be filed comes today (Monday). What I wonder about this all is where do we go from here?
How do you react to a situation like this? It is a very tricky situation that really has a lot of complex issues. One of the biggest issues is perception and being in the public eye. The main thing that I have heard a lot of people say is “why would you put yourself in that situation?” I cannot argue with that statement what so ever. But as I sat there and listened to ESPN break down of the ramification of this decision of no charges being given I could not help but see a question that I wanted to ask myself…why do I keep putting myself in that position?
Honestly, you are not going to find me in a college bar or for that matter in a bathroom stall with a college girl. I will not put myself in that position. I remember in High School and College accountability was a major thing that was stressed. The chance to have someone else hold you to your word and commitment of pursuing a life that was above reproach was invaluable. Along with accountability, self discipline was another thing that was practiced and stressed. I do not want to be that guy on the side lines judging Ben Roethlisberger, or for that matter, judging anyone. What I do want to talk about is something that I think we (myself included) often forget about.
Discipline can show that we are faithful to something that we care about. Accountability can show that we are reliant on each other to live a life that is open and honest. But what about situations? Do we pay much attention to the situations that we put ourselves in? Maybe we ask God to give us patience but instead of waiting we go out and make our own way. Or maybe we ask God to help us watch how much we criticize others and then the next day we are bad mouthing a friend. Or maybe we ask God to help us with an addiction but later we put ourselves in a situation where our addiction can be fed. Whatever it may be, we often forget the responsibility that we have to follow through with what we say.
Its easy to ask others to take responsibility in making sure that you don’t do anything stupid (accountability). It is easy to not feel guilty about failing a discipline because everyone fails at being disciplined.. But the hardest part of it all is taking responsibility for our lives and responsibility for our actions.
The best place I have seen this illustrated is the book of Proverbs. More specifically in Proverbs 5.
Keep to a path far from her,
do not go near the door of her house,
This passage was instructions from a father to a son about the ways of lust. But this can also illustrate whatever sin you want to talk about and the path that you can take to follow the road of destruction that it can lead to. Later in the book of Proverbs lust (really more talking about adultery) is describe as heaping hot coals on your lap and trying not to get burned. I love that imagery, Wouldn’t want to try it, but I love the picture that it brings about. All throughout Proverbs we learn about Wisdom and destruction or sin, and we learn a lot of this from a man that knew a lot about wisdom and a lot about destruction, Solomon. He experienced both, and for the sake of me not turning this post into a sermon, Solomon gave us an example of his life that was lived in two different ways.
I wan to encourage you this week to guard your heart and guard your actions.
I pray that we will continue to ask God for wisdom and guidance and put ourselves in positions to be used by God.
Today I want to challenge you to start reading the book of Proverbs with me. I plan on reading 2 Proberbs a day until the end of the month in pursuit of guarding my heart. I would love for you to join me.