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SCL – Pretending we have boxes

December 16, 2009

I wasn’t going to post anything today, but after spending some time reading my list of blogs, I cam across yet another poignant post from Jon Acuff. If you haven’t checked out his blog, I strongly encourage you to. Follow the link below, and navigate a bit.

Taken from

!Cat Scraptacular!

That’s what I would have named the cat scrapbooking magazine that someone I worked with once printed off the color copiers at our office.

I don’t have any proof that they were actually running a feline focused publication from within our office, but based on how many kitten photos and full color scrapbooking pages I found on our work printer, I have to assume that’s what was going on.

That’s not a great thing to do at your place of employment, but before I judge that lady, I have to remember which one of us was asked to leave that company.

I was …

I had already quit. It wasn’t all that dramatic, but it was pretty gross. It was a Wednesday and I had two days left until I was done at the company. At about 10 in the morning, my boss pulled me into a side conference room and told me to just pack my stuff up and go home. I was surprised but started clearing out all my files and packing up my stuff.

I didn’t do it fast enough though because she stood up in her cube and said something like, “Don’t worry about any of that stuff, just go.” It’s been a few years, but even typing that story makes me feel a little sick to my stomach.

But you know what, she did the right thing.

I was a jerk. I was a horrible employee at the time. I was rude and lazy and belligerent.

And so she asked me to leave.

They didn’t have any security guards in the building so it didn’t get that crazy. I think I said bye to one person. Much to my chagrin, they didn’t stand on top of their cubicles in protest like the students at the end of the Robin Williams’ movie, “Dead Poet’s Society.”

How did I end up there? In that moment? Getting asked to leave the building? Pretty simple.

I let old sin creep back into my life. After having a really powerful come to Jesus moment in the summer of 2005, I had drifted back to my old ways. And after a slow regression of hope and an increase of darkness, I made the same mistake so many people are making right now with the Tiger Woods situation:

I pretended I had boxes.

I tricked myself into believing that sin can be placed neatly inside one part of my life. That it won’t trickle out of the box and spill into every area of my heart and mind. I pretended that I possessed the fortitude to compartmentalize. Surely what I do in my personal life won’t impact my professional life. I can act out in this sector of my mind, but keep things together in these other three.

But I couldn’t and neither can you and neither could Tiger Woods.

I don’t want to go into details of what’s been alleged about his extramarital affairs. There are far smarter people than me that have already covered it.

But what I do want to address is what my friends keep asking me about Tiger Woods:

“How could he have done that?”

“How could he have been so stupid to leave hundreds of text messages and voice mails?”

“Did he think he was going to be the first celebrity who didn’t get caught? Bill Clinton, David Letterman, Frank Gifford, Kobe Bryant, they all got caught. Was he expecting to break the mold and never get found out? What was he thinking?”

What kills me about those questions is the idea that in the middle of an affair you could make smart decisions. As if, in the middle of cheating on someone you would have the intelligence and rational to make wise decisions about how many text messages you should send. As if only part of you would be broken and wounded, but the rest of your life would continue moving along perfectly.

But sin doesn’t work that way.

There’s no such thing as a “smart affair.” Or a smart burglary or a smart lie. Every decision made in that moment is dumb on some level. I think it’s because sin is like a drop of poison in water. You wouldn’t put a little cyanide in a water bottle and then say, “Only the top is poisoned, I’ll drink from the bottom.” Not at all. You’d put the bottle down because the whole thing was poisoned.

I used to think I could hide. I used to think that I could keep secrets like my lies and my porn problems and my other issues in a box under my bed. And maybe if I kept the lid on tight enough, they’d never impact any other issue of my life. But that was a lie. Ask my family. Ask the people that told me to go home from work.

They’ll tell you.

But the good news, the wild truth that proves the point of how corrosive sin is, is also the same hope we can trust in. Simply put, God makes us new. This verse has been rocking me lately and I’ve already written about it, but it’s too big to just cover once or twice.

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! 2 Corinthians 5:17

I’m convinced that God doesn’t make us better, because better wouldn’t be enough. Improved wouldn’t cut it. There’s poison in the water. New is the only way to get fresh and that’s what he offers.

To me. To you. To Tiger Woods.

Because we can’t box up sin. And when we pretend we can, things get really messy, really quickly.

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