What happened to Billy Graham's grandson Pastor Tullian Tchvidjian? In less than a year, he lost his marriage as well as two church leadership positions because of his extramarital affair, and he hasn't been able to get back on his feet since.
Tchividjian, 44, recently wrote a guest post for EXPASTORS entitled "The Freedom in Losing It All," wherein he revealed his thoughts on suicide after the life he had built for himself and his family came crumbling down.
"As one of my counselors told me early on, circumstances don't create the condition of the heart. Rather, circumstances reveal the condition of the heart. And what was revealed to me about my heart in the fiery hotness of dire circumstances was scary and destructive. This disgusting truth about myself (and the desperate aloneness that I felt because of it) made me want to commit suicide," he says.
Tchividjian resigned from his position from Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church last summer after admitting to an extramarital affair. Later, he divorced from his wife Kim, but managed to find another job at Willow Creek last September. He was subsequently fired in March after Willow Creek's Senior Pastor Kevin Labby found out that Tchividjian had another affair back in 2014 and did not disclose it to the church.
Upon reflection now, Tchividjian realised that the confidence he had in his old life was misplaced, since he relied on status, reputation, power and position more than he did on God. "Because I had existentially located my significance in things smaller than God, my loss did not simply usher in grief and pain and shame and regret. It ushered in a severe identity crisis," he says. "Without these things and people that I had come to depend on to make me feel like I mattered, I no longer knew who I was. I felt dead. Therefore, I might as well be dead."
But if there's anything Tchividjian's downfall has taught him, it's that the amazing grace of God covers people even at their worst. And as long as broken people learn how to anchor their lives on Christ, they will learn to be free from the things that used to weigh them down.
"Your identity is firmly anchored in Christ's accomplishment, not yours; His strength, not yours; His performance, not yours; His victory, not yours. The gospel doesn't just free you from what other people think about you; it frees you from what you think about yourself," assures Tchividjian.