‘If anyone does not carry his cross and follow me, he cannot be my disciple.” (v.27)
The letter brought me up short. Shelly, a friend in another city, had never shown an interest in God. Concerned, I had written a minister who lived close to her, asking him to make a call. My plan was that he would appear to “drop in” on her as he canvassed the neighborhood, asking people to church. ‘Don’t mention my name,’ I added near the end of the letter. I didn’t want Shelly mad at me for interfering in her life.
The minister refused to act on my terms, however. He pointed out in the letter that, while he appreciated my interest in Shelly’s welfare, he wondered why I wanted to remain anonymous. Was I ashamed to admit my godly faith to my friend? He suggested I contact Shelly and tell her of my belief in God, then ask if he could visit her and talk about church and her beliefs in God. I was to let him know of her decision.
I realized shamefacedly that I had put my friendship with Shelly before the more important issue–her salvation. Jesus said we must be willing to give up everything for Him, even friendships.
God, please help me to be willing to talk to my friends about you. Amen.