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Authentic New Testament Solutions

Just Keep Going

Bill Clinton, Michael Vick, David Letterman, and Martha Stewart didn’t submit to their failures, but instead chose to let resurrection define their lives. In stark contrast is Richard Nixon who, after Watergate, resigned, retired, and died. By not continuing in the narrative of his life, he inadvertently built a monument to his failure and will always be defined by Watergate. But Clinton won’t be defined by the scandal that precipitated his disbarment and impeachment. His scandal will always be part of his story, but as he keeps going, his scandal consumes less and less space in the narrative of his life.

Every one of us is made up of a combination of characteristics. Some are pleasing; others are shameful and embarrassing. Of course, we who are Christians want the sanctifying work of God’s Spirit, Word, and the body of Christ to work in us so the negative characteristics of our lives diminish, and our positive characteristics develop. As Martin Luther so famously reminded us, we are all simultaneously saints and sinners. Our goal, of course, is to have the saintly portion of our lives far outweigh the sinner in us that raises its ugly head from time to time. I believe one of the necessary decisions we can make in order to accomplish that goal is to simply keep going.

All of the Bible greats, with the exception of Christ, experienced portions of their lives that were dark: Noah was found drunk and naked in his tent after saving the world; Abraham, whom the Bible describes as justified by his faith, lied multiple times to save his own neck; David, the man after God’s own heart, was an adulterer and murderer who used his position as king to try to cover his crimes; Peter denied Christ after he walked closely with him and witnessed his divinity first hand; Paul, after his Damascus Road encounter with Christ, described himself as the chiefest of sinners, least of the apostles, and possessing a messenger of Satan within sent to humble him . The list goes on and on. With each of these Bible greats, we see victory as they move forward. Judas is a notable exception. Great remorse gripped him. He repented, declared Jesus’ innocence, and gave back the money–yet in his despair Judas killed himself, which, of course, ended his story. As a result, his betrayal defines his life and always will. But for those who kept going, their failure is only a portion of their story.

In our modern context, when we think of Bill Clinton, Michael Vick, David Letterman, and Martha Stewart, we see them as victors who didn’t submit their entire life story to their own failures, but instead chose to let resurrection define their lives. In stark contrast is Richard Nixon who, after Watergate, resigned, retired, and died. By not continuing in the narrative of his life, he inadvertently built a monument to his failure and will always be defined by Watergate. But Clinton won’t be defined by the scandal that precipitated his disbarment and impeachment. His scandal will always be part of his story, but as he keeps going, his scandal consumes less and less space in the narrative of his life.

We are all resurrection people. We have the ability to make decisions about our present and our futures. Let’s keep going.

This is an authentic New Testament solution.

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By tedhaggardblog

Ted Haggard is the Sr. Pastor of St. James Church in Colorado Springs, CO and founding pastor of New Life Church and past president of the National Association of Evangelicals. He is the husband of Gayle, and the father of Christy, Marcus, Jonathan, Alex and Elliott.

12 replies on “Just Keep Going”

Pastor Ted,

In the past month I often felt my Life is a living hell and i been going through Deep Depressionen on top of some Heart Health issues. Many Times I thought about giving up, but the Time I spent with you in St. James, your and Gayles Story became to me a encouragement to keep going. I am studying my bible and try my best to become a good Christian. So I want to thank you for showing me what real Christianity is about. I want to thank you for never giving up on yourself and people like me who need you to teach. In the short time I was able to listen to your teaching I learned more then in years before and I could feel the love. I know St. James is the right place for me and therefore soon I will be back in Colorado. So again thank you for not letting nobody discouraging you and pressing forward.

Dear Ursula, Something really jumped out at me from your post; “…and try my best to be a good Christain”. I have struggled for many years trying to be a “good” Christain. Here is what I have recently discovered after much heartache in the church and my life. I believe that that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, died for me! He has forgiven my sins and his grace is sufficient for me. I believe therefore, I am, a great Christian! You are too! God loves you so much he gave his only son (John 3:16). Do only “good” Christian go to heaven? No! All Christains go to heaven. It is a free gift for believing. I think what you say is at the core of Ted’s previous post. When a force (satan, the church, others condemnation)makes us feel that we are not doing enough, it is torturing us. All too often we are throwing the first stone at ourselves, evidently professing we are without sin (or should be without sin). Many, many, many sermons when I was growing up convinced me I wasn’t doing enough. Guess what, I was! I am still working on the go and sin no more part but that is a walk the Holy Spirit is taking with me. God bless you sister. You must be one awesome lady for God to send His Son for you!

Who is without scandal? If someone is ‘without scandal’ in the Body of Christ, then are they saved? We were all sinners in need of a Saviour. Instead, those ‘without scandal’ have secured a place with organized religion looking for the accolades of man instead of the One that died for them. Restoration can only come from Him, not man….Thank GOD.

Pastor Ted, I recently heard someone say “God has a plan for me and I’m still here because His plan for me isn’t finished yet. When His plan for me is finished, I won’t be here any more. : D Thank God, Thank God, Thank God for His plan for my life and yours ; D

The real question to me is where you stand on it. You are the one that goes before your people and shares your thoughts and message. You need to reconcile whether you can stand there and feel right in doing it, and once you reconcile, move on and quit bringing it up…. As far as the examples you gave, I would hope that ministers of the Body of Christ hold themselves to a higher standard than Richard Nixon, Bill Clinton and David Letterman..

One of our elders taught through Hebrews 11 and pointed out that the majority of those listed as heros of our faith would meet the high standard you suggest. And there are no examples in the body of Christ of restoration like the NFL, CBS, or the Democratic Party offered my illustrations. We do not offer restorative grace. We teach it, but we do not believe it or practice it.

I have always admired that you respond back to the comments… takes courage to do that.. for the record, and if it matters, you and I are good. Hebrews 11 just shows that humans are simply that, humans, yet still used by God for good things. My suggestion here is that you don’t anymore need to bring up the past,you don’t need to stop, you just need to keep pushing… you have proven a warrior, pushed through and it is time to move on… as far your naysayers.. tell them Dave said go bark at the moon…

Well said! I really like the first paragraph, We are all sinners, and come short of the glory of God. Yes, I will keep going and pressing on, and I am so glad you keep going as our Pastor, Ted! I really enjoy your Sermons. God Bless You, Gayle and the Family!

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