When the news broke, I felt kind of, well, sad. I was sad for his wife. Sad for him. Sad for the polluted state of humanity. (I have a different adjective for Dr. Laura whose commentary from the nose-bleed seats was decidedly, uh, unhelpful.)
I was also reminded of a verse in John and a passage from 1 Corinthians. If you're discomforted by the news, I would encourage you to read John 16:33. Then, find 1 Corinthians 6: 12-20 for insight. We should be in prayer for Spitzer, his wife, his family, and all the women out there who are offering up their precious, God-given bodies as commodities.
There's very little obvious compassion for Eliot Spitzer at this moment. A couple years ago, I would have personally viewed him with brine-like contempt. But my vantage on sexual sins changed a bit when I took on the subject of pornography in a research paper last year. Not to mitigate the wholesale disaster of the Spitzer situation. But there is a context here. A prevailing condition--called sin--that shadows all of humanity, utterly crushing those who make the poorest choices.
When I studied the problem of pornography, I learned that exposure to sexually explicit material and subsequent discovery can lure an individual to the doorstep of an addiction, not unlike the better understood vice-like bondage of drugs and alcohol. If a threshold is crossed--and that line can be almost instantaneous or years in the making--then the ability of an individual to fight the addiction on his/her own becomes practically insurmountable (1 Cor. 6-12). This impressed upon me a certain sympathy for those who fail to do what Scripture dictates--the only recourse when confronted in the flesh with sexual temptation: to flee. (1 Cor. 6:18)
Since I'm in the nose-bleed seats as well, I hesitate to do a "Dr. Laura" and chime in where analysis is specious. Who knows why the Governor of New York did what he did and whether or not he is addicted to sex. But I had to check my own first-blush instincts on this story--to mentally club the men of planet earth--and allow for the fact that we live in dangerous times and that a wicked and formidable adversary is on the prowl "looking for someone to devour." (1 Peter 5-8).
I'm not inclined to sit in the bleachers and toss peanut shells and call Eliot Spitzer names. Though it's truly a challenge for the heart, I'm trying to view him as a person who unwisely took the bait. I admit I rolled my eyes when I heard that he was energetically busting prostitution rings on the job. The newscaster used the word "hypocrite" to describe him. That may very well be. But if you've ever had a behavior that contradicted your words, you, too, are a hypocrite. I don't have to go back too far to find some hypocrisy in my own life. In fact, I think it was just yesterday. As Christians, we need to run to the Word of God and encourage one another... refraining from terms being tossed about like "hypocrite" without first looking at the inevitable echo of hypocrisy--in all its forms--from within.
And until this story becomes yesterday's news... I'm thinking maybe I'll pass on the evening headlines and pick up a good book. Any suggestions?