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The Only Thing That Still Surprises Me

by Craig Gross on August 21st, 2015 in Favorites, The Haps, Men, Women, Couples

surpises-meI’m not surprised that Jared was arrested for child pornography and pled guilty.

I’m not surprised that Josh Duggar had an Ashley Madison account. I’m also not surprised that his admission of that only came after it was exposed online, and that it included a plea for prayer for his wife and family.

I’m not surprised that a married Michigan state representative named Todd Courser had an affair with another married Michigan state representative named Cindy Gamrat. I’m not even surprised that he tried to divert attention from that affair by creating an email campaign suggesting he hired a male prostitute instead.

I’m definitely not surprised that neither Courser nor Gamrat have resigned from their positions in the Michigan state legislature.

I’ve been watching this kind of news break for years, and it’s stopped shocking me.

Tiger Woods having tons of mistresses? Not shocked.

Anthony Weiner sending photos of his junk out to women? Not shocked.

Ted Haggard getting caught in a drugs-and-prostitution scandal? Not shocked.

No, none of this stuff surprises me anymore. You know what does?

The person who does the right thing.

The husband and wife who are faithful to one another; who celebrate their 25th, 35th, 50th, 75th wedding anniversaries.

The leader who stays off TMZ and the Huffington Post because they live a happy, satisfied life.

The pastor who is actually exactly the person they say they are, who isn’t some back-door deviant or disgusting subreddit creeper.

That stuff is surprising.

I know I’m considered a leader, and as one who speaks out against the seedier aspects of our culture, I know I’m a target for a lot of people. I don’t ever want to become clickbait for Gawker because of some scandal, which is why I try my hardest to live my life out in the open. I have several layers of accountability in place to make sure that I don’t wind up as some website’s shocking headline.

After appearing for my 2nd time on a major network news show, I had become friends with the host. He not only shared our message with millions of people, he personally vouched for me and our ministry. I considered him a friend and the night the program aired I called him and said thanks again. He then said something to me that I’ll never forget:

“If I ever catch you with your pants down or cheating on you wife I will come to your house, cut your balls off, hang them on a tree, and light them on fire. Goodnight.

I’m pretty sure he was only partly joking.

And that’s the kind of accountability we all need. We all need people in our lives who care enough about us to say things that might just scare us a bit. (Tweet This!)

What about you?

Have you taken the steps you need to take to stay off the gossip sites? Are you doing the work you need to do in your relationships to stay satisfied and to be satisfying? Are you living the kind of open, fulfilled life you should be? (Tweet This!)

Go ahead. Surprise me.


*Want to learn more about what it means to live open? Visit GetOpen.com today.

 

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  • Scott NIcholas Amendolare

    Yep, good reading as always! Thank you!

  • Chris Thomas

    I wanted to share with you what I wrote on a friend’s facebook page about this article:

    Ok, I was reading this article on the subway and read a few comments but it must have been on the author’s blog or somewhere. I thought several comments were very unkind regarding Josh Duggar and I would have a lot more to say about that but regardless of that, I still wanted to comment on the article.

    He makes a very powerful point how sad it is that we are no longer shocked by scandals and the shocking thing is when we see someone do the right thing (especially for a prolonged period of time, but maybe we’re just paying attention to the wrong people?).

    I do want to say something about accountability. A pastor I heard recently made a poignant statement about accountability and that was that accountability is only as good as your integrity, meaning that if you’re going to cheat and lie about infidelity to your spouse, it’s a very easy step to lie to your accountability friend about it.

    A second point about the author’s accountability leaves me scratching me head. I thought the comment from his network friend was lewd.
    “He went on: ‘What comes out of a person is what defiles them. For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come…lewdness…All these evils come from inside and defile a person.’ ” (from Mark 7:20-23).

    “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” (Ephesians 4:29)

    “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.” (1 Timothy 4:12)

    Regarding Josh Duggar in this situation, I have seen some people, including some professing Christians, come down really hard on him and even blame his family background for causing his sin (should we blame Jesus for Judas’ sin of betrayal?). Even Mr. Gross seems to rather sardonically make the point that Duggar only admitted his Ashley Madison membership after he was caught…didn’t King David only admit his sin after he was caught? Isn’t that how so many of us get humbled…after we are caught?

    I don’t know much about the Duggars but I do believe he is a brother in Christ and if he’s admitted his sin, I think we should treat him with compassion, understanding and forgiveness. Isn’t that truly Christ-like?
    “Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently…Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” (From Galatians 6:1-2)

    I don’t know anything about Mr. Gross but it just seems to me he could use some scriptural application to his comments and perspectives. I notice the Bible was noticeably absent from his post and resulted in a somewhat brash and careless article.

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