Knowing how to get started reading the Bible can be tricky. But don’t get discouraged! No matter how far you’ve come in your faith, everyone has struggled with reading the Bible at some point. That’s why we put together some Scripture meditations like this one to help you get started.


Dishonesty in the Church

Written By Carina Bruno, Lancaster Bible College

We tend to put our trust in spiritual leaders who are eloquent, confident, and wise. This may be a scholarly pastor or apologist or someone you have a more intimate relationship with, like a mentor. Perhaps you’ve followed this leader’s work for years, or they taught your foundational doctrine.

Have you ever received life-altering news that one of these leaders was dishonest about their faith the entire time they poured into you?

More and more leaders have been exposed for private habits that contradict the messages they preach. What can we do when we feel betrayed by those who have contributed so much to our own spiritual growth? Oftentimes, it causes us to doubt the entirety of our faith.

Unfortunately, dishonest church leaders have existed for centuries; this isn’t a phenomenon only our generation wrestles with.

In Philippians 1, the apostle Paul addresses this issue. We can feel grief and anger at the betrayal of a leader, but we can still have reason to rejoice. God can use broken people to preach the gospel.

Philippians 1:15-18

“15 Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from goodwill. 16 The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. 17 The former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment.18 What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice.” (ESV)

Observations from the Text

  • Some leaders preach Christ out of envy and rivalry(v. 15)
  • The gospel can still be proclaimed even out of selfish ambition (v. 17)
  • We can trust God’s work and rejoice, despite the pain leaders may cause (v. 18)

Prayer of Response:

Loyal God, remind me that my hope is in You, not in man. Amen.

Perfect Savior, thank you for the true ministers of your message. Protect them from the trials and temptations of this world.

Prayer Request:

Merciful Jesus, draw ______ (leader) back to You, the only one who can redeem. 

God of sorrows, take away my feelings of bitterness, for the message of Christ was still heard.

Prayer of Readiness:

Lord, I’m confident you’ll never betray me as man does. Equip me to stay alert to false prophets. 

God of the broken, I’ll rejoice when the gospel is proclaimed.


Scripture meditations are one way to start reading the Bible more. They’re here to help us connect with God in the ordinary, extraordinary, everyday moments of life—visit this page for more!

Scriptures taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide. The “NIV” and “New International Version” are trademarks registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office by Biblica, Inc.™