Christianity 201

February 22, 2020

When Friends Walk Away

Filed under: Christianity - Devotions — paulthinkingoutloud @ 9:49 pm

Today’s devotional is four hours late.

It’s no wonder. I’ve been in a bit of a fog all day. It’s not that I’ve been away from my computer. I’ve been active online for the past several hours. But it just hit me that there was no devotional posted.

What has got me turned around is that some close friends, who we’ve had the pleasure of being part of their spiritual journey for several years, have made it clear they are done with church and going in a different direction. They’ve also indicated they’re done with seeing us socially also.

It hurts.

It’s hard not to feel rejected.

In John 15 we’re given some words from Jesus just for times like this:

18 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. 19 If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. 20 Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. 21 They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me.

The idea of rejection is even stronger in 1 Samuel 8: 4-20. The people are asking for a king and the prophet is downhearted that they want to follow the example of the surrounding nations. God does accommodate their request, but it’s not his plan ‘A’ at all.

But when they said, “Give us a king to lead us,” this displeased Samuel; so he prayed to the Lord. And the Lord told him: “Listen to all that the people are saying to you; it is not you they have rejected, but they have rejected me as their king. As they have done from the day I brought them up out of Egypt until this day, forsaking me and serving other gods, so they are doing to you. Now listen to them; but warn them solemnly and let them know what the king who will reign over them will claim as his rights.” (italics added)

I have to remember not to take all this personally; “it is not you they have rejected.”

…It also disturbs me when couples make a spiritual decision like this unilaterally. At supper, I asked my wife, “I wonder which one is the engine and which one is the caboose?”

The point is, each of will stand before God some day and give a personal account. When I stand, my wife won’t be standing next to me, and when she stands before God, I won’t be there to act as her defender.

Except in rare cases, a couple can’t make decisions of this magnitude in perfect 50/50 harmony. Usually one has been more significant in influencing the other.

…So that’s why my homework is late today, so to speak.

Join us in praying for our friends.

 

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