He Never Had Such Good Friends
A man – a brother in Christ – has slipped away and fallen seriously into sin. Though he was once growing and active in the Lord’s service, now he is distant, unconcerned, and clearly pursuing a different agenda. His brethren see his condition. They are aware of the spiritual danger he is in. All signs point to the fact that he is heading down a path to eternal ruin.
Out of love for his soul, and with knowledge of their own duty in such matters (Galatians 6:1,2) his brothers and sisters in Christ reach out to this erring one. They are crushed to think that one who once worked hand-in-hand with them in the Lord’s service could now be so alienated from them and God. They humbly try to encourage him, reminding him of things he already knows – but has chosen to ignore. They plead with him to “repent therefore of this thy wickedness, and pray God, if perhaps the thought of thine heart may be forgiven thee” (Acts 8:22).
And, what is the response from this brother in desperate need of rescue? Too often the response is one of bitter animosity and resentment. Instead of looking inwardly and humbly admitting his sins, he lashes out at those who are trying to help him. He has harsh words of criticism and distain for them. His effort is to deflect attention away from his own sins, and place focus on what he perceives as the failings of others.
What this man fails to realize is that he never had such good friends as these fellow Christians who are committed to help him and restore him to a right relationship with God. It would have been easier – much easier – to look the other way and ignore the situation all together. Let him go – clear his name off the ‘church roll’ – and proceed as though nothing significant had happened. But, love will not allow this. He is a brother – a friend – and they cannot, will not, let him go without a fight for his soul. Truly, he never had such friends as these.