It is a shame what Eliot Spitzer did to his family, his career, his reputation, his state, and to himself. I feel particularly bad for his wife and three daughters. While what he did was illegal, immoral, a breaking of his marriage vows, and downright tacky, what many will consider the worst sin in all this is the hypocrisy.
Spitzer was “Mr. Clean” and had the reputation of showing no mercy to those who broke the law. Now he has shown himself to be a hypocrite of the first order, and his legacy is forever tarnished.
This reminds me of Rudy Giuliani, who was a crime-busting federal prosecutor, another Mr. Clean who went up against the Mafia, yet shacked up in the mayor’s mansion with Judith Nathan while he was still married to Donna Hanover. To top it off, he dumped Hanover during a press conference! Talk about tacky.
Then there was the gay-bashing Larry Craig, who was found to be playing footsies with an undercover cop in a Minneapolis airport men’s room. And the gay-bashing pastor Ted Haggard who was found to have had a homosexual relationship. The list goes on of hypocrisy among pastors and politicians.
What does all this tell us?
(1) While I believe we have to call sinful behavior what it is, sin, we don’t have to condemn, judge, or gleefully point out others’ flaws. Judge not, or you will be judged.
(2) There but for the grace of God go I. We are all sinful, all fallen, all vulnerable to temptation. Let’s continue in close relationship with God so we don’t succumb to temptation. We can’t resist on our own – we need God’s help.
(3) Nobody should think they can get away with it. You will be caught eventually. Why people think they will be different – that nobody will know – is beyond me. And the more of a public figure you are, the more likely you are to be identified and your actions exposed.
(4) Some believe they are above the law. Bill Clinton engaged in tawdry behavior for years, first as governor of Arkansas and then as President, thinking the world was his playground. You may think you are above civil law, but you aren’t above God’s law.
Please pray for the Spitzer family as they deal with this tragedy. Pray for our leaders to have wisdom as to how to handle this situation. And pray that you don’t succumb to temptation yourself. You may not be famous, but sinful actions can still be devastating.