It is devious. Incremental. Well-disguised.

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An Ounce of Prevention…!
by Mike Cope

    It just happened to me again: I learned of a great spiritual leader, a man whom I’ve respected for two decades, who is struggling to keep his marriage together following an affair he had. I continue to remind myself that this sin isn’t something that happens just to people who don't care about following Christ. It is devious. Incremental. Well-disguised.

    A good book for any man to read as 1997 gets cranked up is Patrick Means’ Men’s Secret Wars (Revell, 1996). Here are a couple choice quotes:

    “There are early warning signs that a relationship may be developing into an emotional affair. Here are three questions for personal reflection:

  1. Are you currently developing a relationship with any woman other than your wife that raises a red flag in your conscience?
  2. Do you have meetings with other women (even if they are not of a romantic nature) that you deliberately hide from your wife?
  3. Are there women in your life right now, other than your wife, whom you often think about, are excited by, and find yourself looking forward to being with?

    A yes answer to any of these questions suggests that you may be sailing into dangerous waters.”

    “When it comes to giving up a secret life, I believe there is a simple test to help us know whether we’re experiencing true or false repentance. If I’m willing to tell someone else what I’m struggling with and ask for help, then it’s true repentance. If I’m not willing to tell anyone else, I’m only fooling myself.”

    Have a good year but keep your eyes open!

  • Ask yourself the three questions.
  • Find a spiritual brother to confess your struggles to.
  • Live in prayer.



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Copyright © 1997, Heartlight, Inc., 8332 Mesa Drive, Austin, TX 78759.
Edited by Phil Ware and Paul Lee.
Article copyright © 1997, Mike Cope. Used by permission.
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