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May 5, 2016, 12:56 AM

DON'T LET A FRIEND FALL IN A HOLE

by Steve Reese

4/12/16 

 

There were two men walking down a street. One was talking non-stop about something that he was passionate about while the other was listening politely occasionally nodding his head.  The man talking was so into his what he was saying that he was not paying much attention to the walkway ahead. He took a step and his foot found no hold. He felt himself falling then nothing. He awoke to find his friend sitting at his bedside in the hospital.

"What happened?" He asked his companion. "The last thing I remember is falling."

His friend patted him on the arm. "You took a terrible fall. Somebody moved a barrier that was covering a hole in the walk. The doctor said you will recover, but you may be in the hospital for some time."

The man was grateful that his friend had stayed with him during this terrible time. He was moved with compassion by his friends loyalty. He smiled at the man by his bedside. "I am just glad that you are okay. It is lucky that you did fall down the same hole."

His friend shook his head, "Oh it wasn't luck, I saw that hole when we were a block away."

The man was shocked! How could his friend have seen the hole yet did nothing to stop him from falling? "You knew the danger was there and yet you said nothing?" He asked incredulously.

His friend shrugged his shoulders and looked embarrassed, "You were talking and I thought it would be rude to interrupt. I didn't want to offend you!" 

 

You read that story and you think, "Impossible! How could someone not warn their friend that they are in danger!" Yet, this same scenario is played out every day. How many people claim to be Christians, claim to believe in hell and eternal judgment, yet say nothing to their non-believing friends because they don't want to "offend" them. Is this not allowing them to fall into a hole that will last forever? And what about our Christian brothers and sisters who are living destructive lifestyles or not having the relationship with the Father that they should?

We have been led to believe that, if we love somebody, we should let them live their own life, their own way. Love means accepting people the way they are and not expecting them to change. We are to let people live their own life, we do accept them as they are. But we are all on the never-ending road to perfect. God expects us all to change and grow beyond what we are today. When we see somebody who needs to know God or somebody who has wondered off the path, we should not be afraid to share our faith with them, to show them the way back to the path.

That doesn't mean we try to badger, to argue or to force them. This means we tell them how we feel and what we believe in the most kind and loving way possible, then leave them alone and let the Spirit work in them. If you love someone, not telling them of the danger they face is not an option. It might be uncomfortable, it might even be embarrassing at times in some situations, but are we willing to let the people we care for blindly walk into that hole and say nothing?


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