A few years ago, I wanted to see how Life Teen could transform our annual Arizona Basic Training into a Convention format. So I attended a Youth Specialties conference. The leaders of Youth Specialties gave me a behind the scenes tour of the event. I was blown away by how well they do events. I wasn’t prepared to hear one thing though. When we talked about the use of hotels and whether participants book their own rooms – they told me a comment a hotel manager had made to them about when youth ministers stay at the hotel. The manager told the Youth Specialties crew that the rental of adult videos increased over what it was even when there were business conventions. The reality was that the youth ministers were watching more adult films than other groups of people – how sad. I was troubled by the comment and soon after decided that at all events that we held where a hotel is associated with, that we would have the hotel cancel the option of adult movie rentals for any of our participants.
You see we who work in youth ministry need to be aware of how the devil is trying to disrupt our ministry. We can’t fool ourselves into thinking that what we do in the dark, doesn’t affect what we do in the light. One small crack in the window of your soul is all the devil needs to start messing with you.
Teens ask the question – how far is too far? In other words, how much can I get away with before it is wrong? My spiritual director always tells me to guard my heart. He is saying that I shouldn’t play with fire. I should be honest about my limitations. If I can’t stay in a hotel room and protect my holiness, then I should stay with someone else who can help keep me accountable. There are so many areas in our life where we can allow there to be small cracks in the window of our soul. I try to realize where I am the weakest and have people hold me accountable in those areas. If you kid yourself into thinking that it is just a small thing and no one will know – you are heading down a troubled path. If your struggling with some area – talk to a spiritual director, go to confession and find people who care enough about you to hold you accountable.
So how solid is the window of your soul? Any small cracks? It matters!