Success is holiness is the title of the next chapter. Taking the examples of Sampson and David, the Hughes’ highlight the dangers of sensuality and how ungodliness constantly seeks to justify itself. I’m sure that many of us who have been involved or around Christian ministry can count off the ministers we know who have compromised themselves and barred themselves from service. And for some of us we need both hands to count them off. The Hughes’ ask the tough questions – what do you watch on TV (or online), where does your mind wander in the quiet moments, how are you actively pursuing holiness?
In one sense you can never stop asking these questions. And the questions need to be specific – direct – frank. Is there someone at church that you are more excited about seeing on Sunday than anyone else? Are you knowingly harbouring a desire, a thought, a dream which you can’t share with your wife? Do you have access to money that no one knows about? A friend of mine asked me once – “what will you do when you meet the woman that you’d be willing to give up your wife, your family, your ministry for?” The premise of the question was assumed – you will meet her one day. And the purpose was clear - plan for it now. Our natural inclination will be to sin. So make it hard for yourself. Ask the questions – better yet, get someone else to ask them to you. Put things in place so that you’ve really got to work hard at sinning (the point being, of course, that your laziness kicks in and you give up before you sin). Hire a male assistant (if you’re straight). Put your home computer in a public place. Don’t have anything to do with the offertory. Success is holiness.