Our culture continues to re-label sin. Such concepts as stealing and being a thief are now called “kleptomania” in certain cases.

In the news now, General Petraeus “had an affair” which sounds so fun, innocent, and romantic. Biblically, however, he committed adultery since he was a married man and that is sin against God and his wife and has hurt many others. Any wonder why God hates sin? Because it hurts so many people!

Adultery is a much more serious sounding word. It’s tone is different than “having an affair.” Adultery implies choice at some level to disobey God and even the laws and moral standards of the land. What makes it worse is that Gen. Petraeus was a high ranking leader in our government and this moral failure in his personal life put many lives at risk in terms of potentially compromised security and leverage that could be used against him.

He did the honorable thing by confessing and resigning. Now, he can begin the journey of repentance to God and his wife by rebuilding his marriage. It will be a difficult road but by God’s grace, he can experience restoration in his family. This can be a great picture of the Gospel and the forgiveness of Christ.

For all of us, we need to be forewarned to guard our hearts. No matter how high up you are, you too can choose to sin against a holy God.

The Bible never tells us to follow our hearts but to guard our hearts (Prov. 23:19). Sin is no respecter of persons since all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God (Rom. 3:23) and no matter how intelligent, wealthy, powerful, or beautiful we are, we are all prone to sin and must fill our hearts and minds with the truth of God’s Word.

Ps. 119:9-11 says it best:

 How can a young man keep his way pure?
    By guarding it according to your word.
10 With my whole heart I seek you;
    let me not wander from your commandments!
11 I have stored up your word in my heart,
    that I might not sin against you.

-Mark (warning you not to fall prey to the worldly words that our culture embraces but oppose the Word of God – like affair vs. adultery – and “alcoholism” vs. drunkenness – because only then, when we call sin “sin” is the Gospel necessary)