I am certain the phrase “that won’t happen to me” is going through a lot of people’s heads while they read stories about Jared Fogle and Josh Duggar. It’s often perceived as dangerous to think this little phrase, but I’m here to tell you it doesn’t have to be.
There are two ways of saying “that won’t happen to me.” The first way is the the dangerous way. That is when it is said flippantly or arrogantly, when we think we are better than somebody else and think we are magically immune to whatever they are going through. It is ignorant to look at a situation and forget we have shortcomings and temptations. I’m sure Jared and Josh didn’t end up where they are over night. What temptations or behaviors do we have that in 2, 5, or 10 years could land us in the same or similar situation? The scripture that always comes to mind when we see moral failures in our role models and leaders is Proverbs 4:23 “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
The second way of saying “that won’t happen to me” is with determination. It wasn’t by chance that Jared Fogle and Josh Duggar ended up where they are now, it was by calculated choice after choice after choice. You can determine in your heart that behaviors and actions will not be a part of who you are. It’s not a one time thing, and it may not be easy but it is something you can and must do. There are things that are out of our control. We can’t look at a homeless person and say “that will never happen to me” because there are things out of your control that can take your home from you. There was nothing out of the control of these two men that led to their actions.
I remember sitting and talking with a friend about sexual purity. I was perplexed and bother by their statement that they didn’t know how they would respond “in the heat of the moment.” They couldn’t say whether they would give in or remain pure. My stance was you can decide today how you would respond, make your choice today so you don’t have to make a choice in that situation you just have to live out what you have decided ahead of time.
My point is don’t float through life waiting to make decisions about how you are going to act when the situation is staring you in the face. That is living with the arrogant attitude of “that won’t happen to me” and the next thing you know you may have lost your job, your wife, your family, and your integrity.
Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.