Posted by: Rex Boyles | October 2, 2007

“Because you asked …”

Today, two different younger brothers asked me the same question, “What did you learn from your experience?” One asked me at breakfast. The other asked on this blog (see below). The question sobered me. I, honestly, do not think that I have looked at these last few years in this way. I have expended so much energy just to survive – emotionally and financially – that I never thought of what lessons I was learning that might be helpful to someone else. Eventually, I did begin to consider lessons that might be helpful – but they always focused on coming home, finding rest, and learning to walk with the Lord again – even with a limp. But I never thought much – if any – as to what I might have learned that could help another brother avoid the distress and damage of the sin that I committed – that caused me so much distress and caused others so much damage.  I don’t want to answer the question, but I will. I don’t want to remember “those days”, but since I do already (remember them, daily, in shame) why don’t I glean from them some kernel of wisdom?  

I do not like this assignment, but as I have begged God over these years for His mercy … to “cleanse me” … to “create in me a clean heart” … to “restore unto the joy of my salvation” … I also prayed – if not pledged – to “teach transgressors your ways”. God has been answering my prayer over these years – how can I refuse the sincere request of brothers, who have loved me? How can I shrink back from the open door that God has placed before me? So, I will answer the question – I will “review the tape” and see what lessons I should have learned – what I should have shared … or should share now. But before I begin, I ask that you: 

Pray that God will give me wisdom – generously. 

Give me some help. Some of you have been through similar experiences. Please share with me the lessons you have learned from your shame. If you wish, you can email me:, or you can post your comments to me here. (Feel free to post your comments anonymously … according to your discretion.) 

Give me some time. I do not have a lot of time to write – so my “lessons” may come a little here and a little there. 

Finally, please do not take any “lesson” I may share as an excuse or justification for what I did. There is no excuse for what I did … no justification … NONE.

“Rex: when people say they don’t care what you did or why you did it (referring to your particular sins), I understand what they mean. But I think you are in a (better) position now to help fellow ministers avoid some of the traps, snares, and pitfalls that lure so many ministers and missionaries. You don’t have to do it publicly, but I would like to hear what you learned from your experience.

1. What were some of the warning signs that you ignored or overlooked?
2. What signs did your friends and loved ones misinterpret?
3. What are some of the dangers to watch out for? Fatigue, boredom, et al.
4. What would you do differently if you could go back?

Again, you don’t owe me anything—much less an explanation. I just wonder if you have analyzed that situation and what you have learned from it. I am looking for nuggets of wisdom – not “nitty gritty” details.”


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