Skip to content ↓

Act Now. Pay Later.

This week the blog is sponsored by Moody Publishers and is written by Robert Wolgemuth the author of Lies Men Believe.

Very late at night and into the morning, over runny cheese omelets and cold toast at an all-night diner with my friend, we had one of those conversations I was sure I would never forget. I haven’t.

A phone call from the guy’s wife led to this man-to-man talk. I had known them both for several years. He was a free spirit. Impetuous, compulsive, and dangerous. She was Mrs. Level Head. Intentional, focused, and unflappable.

But when the receptionist buzzed my office and told me who was on line two and that she was crying, I knew it must be serious.

It was.

My buddy was on an extended business trip, and his wife had been doing some deep cleaning of his space at the house. In the base cabinet of his bathroom sink, she found some contraceptives she didn’t recognize. This horrible discovery led her on an uncharacteristically frantic search. In another secret place, she found more.

Then she inquired of women in their lives. Friends, babysitters, and housekeepers. And sure enough, they had stories to spill.

So taking “tough love” to a world record-setting place, she emptied his closet and dresser. She labeled boxes for his parents on the West Coast and shipped them. She filled his car with the rest and called me. She asked me to meet my friend at the airport with the news of her discovery and a letter, sending him packing. Literally.

No More Coffee

Our midnight breakfast was finished. The waitress, who kept calling us “honey” and asking if we wanted more coffee, had cleared our table. My friend was ready to talk.

It began with a simple question from me. “What were you thinking?”

A wisp of emotion filled his eyes. He took a deep breath. “I guess I figured I could work all this out someday,” he sighed.

We sat quietly, trying to consider what he had just said.

This experience from over three decades ago has returned to my memory many times since it happened. Like you, I’ve been tempted to act now, pay later. And I’ve followed the stories of Christian leaders, highly respected authors and seminary professors, and megachurch pastors whose salacious stories have come to light.

And my question to them, although I’ve not had the chance to actually ask it to many, is the same as that late night/early morning breakfast with my friend.

“What were you thinking?”

Tragic as it is, the story of men making foolish choices with their eyes open is not a new story. Men who figured that they would somehow, some way, someday … figure it out. You know, cross that bridge when they get there.

Even to the unchurched man, the account of Adam and Eve is not unfamiliar. The forbidden fruit, the serpent’s deceptive approach to the man’s wife, and then when confronted, the man’s sad acquiescence. Perhaps, he was more willing to disobey God than to risk his lady’s scorn.

Sowing and Reaping and Asking for Help

So like a handful of seeds slung out with no thought to their sure springing up, the first man must have determined that, although he clearly knew what he was doing was wrong, he’d figure this one out. Later.

But that’s a lie. The time will come for you and me when there’s no more figuring this out. No more wiggle room. No chance to recover. Only a pain-filled harvest.

So what to do now? If my all-night breakfast meeting with my friend is making your heart race, if you’re somewhere between taking the bite and being found out, call a friend you trust. Find a safe place to tell him the truth. Ask for help. Don’t wait for your wife to make that call. Please don’t wait.

“Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap” (Gal 6:7 ESV).


  • Free Stuff Fridays (MBTS)

    This week Free Stuff Fridays is sponsored by Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. For the Church Institute is a free online platform from Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary designed to provide free and accessible theological training to equip, encourage, and edify local churches. Courses may be taken as a self-paced individual or as a group within your…

  • A Field Guide on Gender and Sexuality

    A Field Guide on Gender and Sexuality

    God’s design for gender and sexuality is fixed and unchanging. The way he created us is the way he means for us to live. The instruction he provides in the Bible is all we need to understand his purpose and live it out in a way that honors and pleases him. The wisdom he provides…

  • A La Carte Friday 2

    A La Carte (July 19)

    A La Carte: When you can’t forgive yourself after an abortion / Ancient Corinth, Judge Judy, and litigious Christians / Trusting the giver of good / The renovation of a soul / Life after Doom (by Brian McLaren) / and more.

  • A La Carte Thursday 1

    A La Carte (July 18)

    A La Carte: Does Christian sex need rescuing? / 15 resolves for interpersonal conflicts / How senior pastors can help associate pastors / it’s okay to be okay / Don’t be proud of what you had no say in / How sweet! / Kindle deals / and more.

  • Protecting the Family Name

    Protecting the Family Name

    It is a conversation I had with my son-in-law while he was pursuing my daughter and expressing his interest in marrying her. It is a conversation I will need to have with a second son-in-law if the day comes when he expresses his interest in marrying my other daughter. It is a conversation about the…

  • A La Carte Collection cover image

    A La Carte (July 17)

    A La Carte: Every place is a place to talk about Jehovah / A precious mystery / How marriage shows the beauty and poetry of the gospel / What should we learn from the immensity of the heavens? / Should we call church a family? / Commentary sale / and more.