When temptation enters our lives, it is not always obvious in the beginning. With all that has happened surrounding the situation with Ted Haggard, I have taken some time to reflect on what we can learn from it.
I think it can best be described with an analogy from a sermon I recently heard. Pastor Jeff Manion, the Senior teaching pastor at Ada Bible Church, used this analogy in a recent sermon about King Solomon's reign and fall from following God.
He compared the subtle attack of temptation to going sledding in the winter. After you sit on the sled, you don't immediately start going down the hill. Most of the time you need to scooch a few times before you really start sliding.
It is the same way with temptation and falling away from following Jesus. Most of the time we begin to fall pray to the subtle attack by scooching. The harmless flirting with someone in the office comes long before the extra-marital affair. The first innocent experimentation with a drug is just the beginning of the downhill slide of addiction.
We can see this idea of scooching illustrated in the life of King Solomon. Solomon was obsessed with women. He had 700 wives and 300 concubines who slowly over time introduced the king to their gods. Ultimately, Solomon's heart was pulled away from the God of his fathers.
In this same way, the seemingly "innocent" scooching that we allow in our lives can easily draw us away from following Jesus completely. My point is, that the situation Haggard finds himself in now did not just happen all of a sudden. I imagine there was some scooching before the downhill slide began.
We always need to watch for where we are "scooching."
Where are you now? Are you scooching? Take the opportunity to learn what you can and grow from all that has happened.