Over the last week the United States press has been furiously covering the shocking revelation of Gen. David Petraeus illicit love affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell. The scandle, of course, has all the right ingredients for a media frenzy: power in high places, political intrigue, famous persons, and of course sex.
At the time of the revelation Petraeus was one of the most powerful persons in the world. Petraeus was the director of the CIA, until the scandal forced him to resign. Prior to his short lived stint at the CIA, he served as a distinguished commanding general in both Iraq and Afghanistan.
How is it that such a powerful person couldn’t keep a secret? Well, there is a very simple answer to that question: email. Yes, something as mundane as email.
Apparently, Petraeus mistress sent another woman threatening emails who, in turn, took the emails to the FBI. The FBI was then able to trace the emails back to Petraeus mistress which, in turn, led the FBI to the Director of the CIA. Finally the FBI uncovered a ‘private’ email account that Petraeus THOUGHT he could use to privately communicate with his lover. See: FBI Uncovered Petraeus Affair By Chance.
What does this mean for us as Christians? Well, once again we see another demonstration that our mothers and Sunday School teachers were right. “Your sins will find you out!”
“But if you do not do so, then take note, you have sinned against the Lord; and be sure your sin will find you out.” Numbers 32:23 NKJV
While a few of us may be able to out-fox the FBI, absolutely no one can avoid the all seeing eye of the God of Heaven. God knows absolutely everything about us, from our inner most thoughts to the number of hairs on our head. Psalm 139:1-6 and Luke 12:7. We should never be so foolish as to think we could hide our sin from God.
There is another important lesson: there are no secrets in the digital age. A recent article in the New York Times, With Digital Trail, an End to the Hushed Affair, declares that it is now virtually impossible to keep such secrets. The author opines:
Mr. Petraeus was tripped up by an F.B.I. investigation that stumbled across his extramarital relationship. But in a digital era when the details of even average citizens are cached for public view, the odds of exposure have become exponentially greater.
Today, the shocking truth is that everything we do leaves behind a digital trail of footprints. Just ask yourself: how is it that my DVD player remembers which disc I was watching and where I paused it a week ago? That is just one example of a digital footprint.
While hundreds of other examples could be given, it should be abundantly clear: your sins WILL find you out. Not even the Director of the CIA can go unnoticed.