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The Past That Haunts

These last couple of months, the politicians in Washington have been trying to fill a seat on the Supreme Court. The nominee has had accusations of sexual assault leveled against him. God knows what happened in each case. He knows all the facts, and eventually, He will judge any sin issues that exist that are not covered by Christ's blood - as He will with all of us. At any rate, everyone's deeds will be known, both good and bad. There probably isn't anyone reading this that doesn't have someone in their lives that they have wronged in some way. If you don't, you're either very, very young, or a candidate for sainthood.

This article is a plea to all the youth to guard yourselves. These situations occur over and over around the world - it isn't solely America's problem. Young people put themselves in positions where they do things under the influence of alcohol, drugs, peer pressure and their own lusts that they regret at a later date. Sometimes the regret is immediate, and sometimes the regret doesn't happen for a long time. Sometimes victims decide that their own part in the matter makes it something they don't want to pursue charges about in order to keep their own reputation intact. Then years later when the person is running for high office they decide, rightly if the allegations are true, that even though they couldn't put themselves through the wringer at the time that the person committed the act, that that person should not be elevated to such a high position of moral authority in the government. So they come forward and tell their story.

Sometimes only one is at fault. Sometimes both share some part of the blame. Sometimes the fault is equal for both parties. Sometimes the events occurred when a young age should cause them to remain buried forever. Sometimes the events occurred when they were legal adults. Sometimes the stories told are consensual. Sometimes the stories are non-consensual. Sometimes the alcohol and drugs and time blur the stories so nobody is really sure what has happened. But there are many, many stories to tell. And nobody is perfect.

As I said above, God knows all the facts and what really happened, and it is not my place to try to figure out truth. But it is my place to try to warn the youth that all actions have consequences. The reality is that in almost all cases if you don't put yourself in a position where you could get drunk, have drugs added to your drink, get high, or just be tempted to do the wrong thing, you won't be accused and won't be a victim. There are evil people out there who attack strangers in isolated places and do awful things, and you may not have any control over that - just pray for God's protection if you find yourself in a scary situation. Sometimes there is evil in the home itself where the only solution other than telling someone in authority is to leave which has a host of problems on its own. But there are a whole lot of situations that you can avoid completely just by not going to a party or going out on a date that you know or suspect has the potential to turn bad, regardless of what your friends call you for saying no, regardless of whether it will damage your popularity, regardless of whether it will keep you from moving up the corporate or political ladder, or any of a host of other reasons Satan will whisper in your ear to try to get you to go.

How many women and men are scarred for a long time because of the actions of their youth? Not a single one - if they're honest with themselves and with you - would say any possible pleasure received was worth the lifetime of living with the consequences or the threat of consequences for their actions. Life isn't fair. Life isn't fair to those God would judge victims. Life isn't fair to those who were just there and didn't do anything, but get falsely accused. All of the pain can be avoided by just saying no to the invitation and not being where the danger is. Don't be afraid to just say no to the invitation before you find yourself trying to say no when you're not in complete control of yourself or are with a bunch of drunk or high guys that are not capable of processing what your are saying or that are not in a mental condition to accept what you are saying. Any ridicule you get for not being a fun person will be far less damaging than the worst that could happen.

All parties and dates don't turn bad. But listen to the Holy Spirit if He's warning you about where you are considering going or who you are considering dating. He can rightly judge the risk you are putting yourself in. Just because risk is high isn't a guarantee that the people involved will fail - they have a free conscience that also must choose to do right or wrong, and just because there is a high chance of wrong, doesn't mean wrong must occur. But if the Holy Spirit is saying there is risk - Listen to Him!

Men need to respect the women in their lives and the women they are with or around. Men need to stand up to other drunk men and stop them from doing something wrong. And occasionally, women need to respect the men they are with or around and need to stick up for drunk women and keep them from doing something wrong too. It isn't like there aren't problems on both sides at times - even if the problem is usually with the men. If you've gone to a party with someone and given each other a promise to look out for each other, then do that, regardless of whether you're a man or a woman. Don't abandon each other. If one leaves, then both leave, get home safe, and then if the person that met someone wants to go out with that person - go and meet them after your friend is home safe. Keep each other safe. But better yet - don't put yourselves at risk in the first place. And try to be honest as best you remember what you did and don't falsely accuse anyone of anything - man or woman.

About now, you're probably saying - if you're young - that this old guy doesn't know how it is. And you're right, I don't. But I do know that God's standards of Christian conduct don't change. Most of those standards are designed to prevent just the sort of thing that is unfolding in this case and in so many, many others around the world every day. When we don't live up to His standards, lives get shattered and futures get derailed. How many high school students have to drop out because they've gotten pregnant but don't want an abortion? How many college lives are interrupted because of pregnancies that keep them from graduating? How many women or men are scarred because of just one party that went wrong? How many live in fear that their past will come out and don't go on to be the leader that God wanted them to be? How many divorces happen each day just because the man or the woman forgot what they vowed to God to do when the marriage started and started letting their eye, mind, and body drift to something or someone they think is better rather than trying to fix what is wrong that is making them unhappy in the first place? The answer to each is far, far too many. God watches everything, and we are all accountable to Him. One day, we'll face the music, even if we don't on earth.

Don't be the next victim. Don't be falsely accused. Just say no and stay out of the danger zone in the first place.