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Victory Out of Defeat

Bad men excuse their faults; good men will leave them.
Ben Johnson

In a statement worthy of Yogi Berra (who once said, "You can observe a lot just by watching"), one pastor summed up his philosophy of mistakes: "I may not always do what's right, but I won't do wrong." He meant that he may make mistakes, but once he does, he is scrupulous about his conduct as he extricates himself.

Watergate, the classic negative example, showed a whole generation not only how to blunder badly, but how to be bad blunderers. Lies, cover-ups, and betrayed loyalties compounded the initial mistake. What pastors seek in the midst of a mistake is something completely different: a principled recovery, a moral victory in spite of the original mistake.

Taking that moral high ground demands integrity and courage. At just the point when all the world seems to be crumbling, the pastor needs most of all to be stable, to resist petty and vicious retribution, to honor God by modeling faithful behavior. It is perhaps at the ...

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September
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