As David takes the reigns as king, he soars to the top. Power. Wealth. Wisdom. He’s got it all. But…he wants more. And he falls from the top. The rooftop. He sees her bathing. Her name happens to be Bathsheba, and he falls – for her – into sin – and away from God.
It’s not good.
Why does this seem to happen? Leaders falling from the top?
It’s scary. It’s sad.
I have two different articles I want to share with you today.
This first one is from my college roommate who is a new pastor in California. He talks about “when the church injures people…” and how we as the church can (and should) respond when leaders fall just like David did.
The other article I’d like to share is more proactive about how to reach out to leaders before they fall. Read it here – “5 Reasons Pastors Get Depressed and Don’t Talk about It.” Not all the falls from top involve sexual misconduct by the leaders. Many of the falls happen because of depression, and most often the misconduct is the result of a deeper problem.
This second article is in response to a young pastor in California (not my college roommate) who just recently took his own life. His name was Andrew Stoecklein. His church was “successful.” He had a young wife and 3 young boys. It’s incredibly sad. It’s a shock.
Leadership is tough. Pastoring is hard. A lot fall from the top.
I write this today not because I’m battling depression or diagnosable anxiety. But I know many pastors who do. And I understand how easily it can happen. But I do write this because I envy your prayerful support and partnership in the call that God has given to us as his church.
The only easy answer as to “why” so many fall from the top is sin. This is a broken world and we are broken people. The ONLY source for healing, peace and joy is the truth that Jesus has already won. I don’t have to have all the answers. I don’t have to have the solutions. Neither do you. Let Jesus be Lord – not just on Sundays, but in every aspect of your life. This is good for you.
The good news about the story of David is he owns up to his mistakes. He humbly confesses his sins before God. We’ll read and talk much more about this on Sunday, September 2nd. But for now, this is the prayer of David after his sin. Psalm 51 – It goes like this:
Have mercy on me,[a] O God,
according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin!
3 For I know my transgressions,
and my sin is ever before me.
4 Against you, you only, have I sinned
and done what is evil in your sight,
so that you may be justified in your words
and blameless in your judgment.
5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
and in sin did my mother conceive me.
6 Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being,
and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.
7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8 Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones that you have broken rejoice.
9 Hide your face from my sins,
and blot out all my iniquities.
10 Create in me a clean heart, O God,
and renew a right[b] spirit within me.
11 Cast me not away from your presence,
and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
and uphold me with a willing spirit.
13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
and sinners will return to you.
14 Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God,
O God of my salvation,
and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness.
15 O Lord, open my lips,
and my mouth will declare your praise.
16 For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it;
you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
18 Do good to Zion in your good pleasure;
build up the walls of Jerusalem;
19 then will you delight in right sacrifices,
in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings;
then bulls will be offered on your altar.