For one’s benefit or destruction?

This morning I was texting with someone about ambulance coverage for the day and the conversation spilled over into a little philosophy. They said they hated to see me stay home from the mission today in case we get an ambulance call because they know how much the mission means to me. I told the person that getting the ambulance out does, too. I told them that I remember reading in a book that it is often easier choosing between good and bad than choosing between two good things. I think that was Barbara Brown Taylor in her book Leaving Church. The person said they usually try to break things down to “will this serve for someone’s benefit or destruction”. That’s my paraphrase and is pretty sage advice from a 21 year old. I immediately texted back that her words gave me idea about a blog post, so here it is.

I am a follower of Jesus Christ, who believes that the Bible teaches that people are destined for hell apart from being spared from it through Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. I believe it with all my being. I believe the Bible when it says sin separates us from God and the only way to be made right with Him is through confessing our sin, accepting God’s gift of Jesus paying for our sin, and doing everything within our power to turn from sin. Do we stumble along the way? Of course we do. And we mourn it and try again. Do you think I write and say that for someone’s benefit or destruction? I believe it is for the benefit of anyone who reads it or hears it from me. Can telling people that hurt their feelings? Absolutely.

However, if you see someone on their way to destruction, do you not agree that feelings become secondary? If you tell someone with an addiction to drugs, alcohol, or gambling that they need to turn from that, or if you tell a friend ready to cheat on their spouse that they are going down a path that will cost them way more than they want to pay, is that loving or unloving? What is the most loving thing you could do? It is for their benefit that you tell them to seek help – counseling, AA, NA, or something. It is unloving to tell them “I hope you slay those machines tonight”. It is terrible to tell someone, “Make sure you do not get caught”. That is destructive.

This is where I find myself in our society today. While society is encouraging peoples’ destruction through things like gambling on one’s phone, abortion, talk of legalizing drugs and prostitution, and many other means, I am called by the God of Creation to stand in the face of it all and call people to life. It is not an envious position, but there is no greater calling.

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