Not long ago, my bank called. Some recent purchases had caught their attention. Could I verify the transactions? Were the charges legitimate?
Well, I immediately asked them just who they thought they were. It was my money. If I wanted to buy those things, who were they to hassle me about it? I let them know in no uncertain terms that I did not appreciate their meddling and they were to never to bother me again!
What’s that you say? I overreacted? Was rude to people who were only doing their job? Wasn’t being very smart? You’re right. I would have been all of those things and probably some other things as well – if I had really answered that way.
You see, I know they were doing their job. Furthermore, I know that they were looking out for me. In today’s world, they were right to be wary.
So, I confirmed the purchases. And then I thanked them for calling.
Then I thought of how we sometimes respond when someone expresses concern over something we’ve done that is at odds with Christ’s image. Too often, we sound like my imaginary response. “It’s none of your business.” “It’s my life, who are you to meddle?” “I’ll thank you to never bother me again!”
Why do we do that? Perhaps it’s pride. Maybe it’s an attempt to justify or ease the guilt we feel in being called on something we know is wrong. Or, maybe it shows that we’ve bought into a view of life that’s more cultural than biblical.
The Bible does teach that God will let us “do our own thing”, though we should not forget that there are consequences for our choices (see Rom 1:24, 26, 28). But, it also teaches that, once we sign on to the commitment of faith that puts us into Christ’s body (1 Cor 12:13), we have agreed that our lives are no longer just about us. We are “members one of another” (Rom 12:5; Eph 4:25) who therefore are to have “the same care for one another” (1 Cor 12:25). When faithful people see us wandering (James 5:19-20), they are supposed to try to “restore [us] in a spirit of gentleness” and “supply what is lacking in [our] faith” (Gal 6:1; 1 Thess 3:10).
Yes, we can reject their overtures and even treat them as enemies because they told us the truth (Gal 4:16). But, in light of eternity, and how we would react over something as relatively trivial as a call to see if our purchases are legitimate, is that really smart?
I thought the above article was a good illustration of how we may react when someone expresses concern about our spiritual welfare and wanted to share it with you. - LP