I’m all about the lesson. In a way, I’m grateful for the past year. Lessons abound.
For instance, I learned that the worse things get, the closer God is. “Draw nigh to God and he will draw nigh to you.” James 4:8. At the bottom there’s no where turn to but up.
I learned that Satan well deserves his name, which means adversary. He is truly against God. When my dad turned away, handing the reigns of his life to his enemy, I learned about the nature of evil. In the same way that faith is like a mustard seed, the smallest of the seeds, that grows to be the largest tree, evil begins small as well. It starts with fleeting thoughts and compromise. It turns into secrets and justification. Satan, that wily devil, whispers sweetly that you certainly deserve whatever happiness you might glean from this fleeting life. He says there is no God, no judgement, no evil, no soul, when all of creation contradicts that notion.
Usually, when you think of pride, you think of someone who wants to take credit. I’m sure we all have moments when we feel proud of being Christians, of serving the one true God. Of course, we soon realize it was his mercy, his kindness, that drew us. “For whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” Romans 8:30. So beginning to end, all God. No room for credit.
The desire is there, though. The desire to take credit. But Satan’s pride has gone further. In The Usual Suspects, Keyser Soze says, “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist.” What kind of pride is this? A pride so advanced it needs no credit. He’s willing to share credit, to give it over completely, as long as his aim is accomplished.
I’ve also learned that even an average man, of average intelligence, can become very, very devious. It’s as if Satan’s thousands of years of experience and knowledge shine through his followers. There are now two Christians, both of whom have engaged in lengthy discussions of God with me, who have told me, “You don’t know the whole story.” Not to mention others, who I am less upset about. Always that exact phrase. You don’t know the whole story.
Consider this with me. I have grown up with this family. Each of these people. I know their habits, their preferences, their past. I was personally present for several of the ‘big incidents.’ Anyone considering this situation logically would never assume they know better than I what has happened.
Yet I don’t know the whole story.
“My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge:’ Hosea 4:6. I’ve seen people who aren’t saved be deceived. It’s a very sad situation. There’s some compassion that should be given, some mercy. The only sin they can be convicted of in that state is the sin of not believing in Jesus as the Savior, the Lamb of God, sacrificed to save us. Their defection is understandable. Their mind and spirit are clouded, they have no shield.
Of all the friends we’ve lost, the Christians are the hardest for me. The girl my dad is seeing is a Christian. We were friends before all of this. I’ve mentioned Emily, my friend, on here. She recently accepted Jesus as her savior. That was an awesome day by the way. Her boyfriend defected as well. In his way, he did as much damage as the girl. Ironically, the only two Christians in the bunch are the only two who have actively interfered in meaningful ways. I might yet lose Emily, which would be the greatest loss so far.
Their involvement hurts badly. Everyone else, my dad included, I can forgive easily. I remember my mind before the Holy Spirit took over. I know how easily deception is accepted, desired even.
So I’ve learned that it’s important for every Christian to move past the milk. “But strong meat belongs to them that are full of age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exersized to discern both good and evil.” Hebrews 5:14. They couldn’t have been deceived so easily had they been exersizing.
“A new commandment I give unto you, That you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love one to another.” (Jesus) John 15:34-35. I don’t know that the world sees much of the love Jesus was talking about from us. I don’t really see it myself. That’s why I don’t blame people for not liking Christians a lot of the time. They have often had similar problems. If I didn’t know God-apart from his people-I might be tempted to ascribe to God the characteristics of his people.
“You are the salt of the earth: but if the salt have lost his flavour wherewith shall it be salted? it is thenceforth good for nothing, but to be cast out, and to be trodden underfoot of men. You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.” (Jesus) Matthew 5:13-14. The world looks to us as examples of the God we serve. Please keep that in mind.