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Former Congressman Reflects on Transgressions

In May of 2010, Indiana congressman Mark Souder resigned his position after confessing to an affair with a part-time staffer. In more than a dozen emails to WORLD magazine, Souder reflected on his downfall. In one email, he shares how difficult it is to keep people in power in check. "Politicians and any top professionals are skilled manipulators and smooth with words," he wrote. "Holding us accountable is hard." Another email reveals the agony he feels over his failure. He writes: "My sin, while forgiven, is greater in that God put me in a position of public trust, so I deserve whatever criticism I receive." He goes on to write about what he did and how he felt in the midst of his affair: "I prayed multiple times a day, sang hymns with emotions and tears, felt each time that it wouldn't happen again, read the Bible every morning …. So how in the world did I have a torrid—which is an accurate word—many-year affair? How could I compartmentalize it so much?" In yet another email, Souder adds: "Bottom line, however, is that the problem is sin …. The problem is getting the will subordinate to the Holy Spirit early enough that the Spirit is not quenched."

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