It Looks as Though You’re Letting Go

I’m getting a little better at reserving judgment.  By that, I mean withholding my opinion.  It’s about time.

Now, I’m still a person of considered opinions.  Some more so and some less.  It’s just that I don’t feel the need to express them as often.  I have taken counsel encountered decades ago to heart in my decrepitude: “Unsolicited advice is seldom heeded and often resented.”  No longer do I hold the delusion that people much care what I think.

It’s tempting to want to be the first in the pool of profundity.  If a person is able to assert an astute observation in short order, admirers are gained and dissent quelled.  For these and other reasons, people are quick to speak and offer half-baked theories.  I plead guilt and the fifth remembering missteps aplenty but do observe trends in your life and mine.

Psychologists and some others offer opinions based on their observations but are unable to state their positions as irrevocable fact.  This is entirely proper, but I am astounded at the accuracy of personality (and other) testing in our day.  You see, where there’s smoke, there’s fire.  Telltale signs in every life indicate leviathans beneath the surface.  As minings may be predicted by outcroppings, I may be able to predict where you will end by observing current motion.

All around, we see marriages that are not lost but loosening.  Things have changed.  While changes can be good things (the Lord knows we all need them), certain are disconcerting.  The bond seems to be unraveling.  The decline may be hard to define, but it is there.  Things are no longer tight or tidy.  Without judging or advising, it looks as though you’re letting go.

The Bible says quite a bit about the value of friendship.  I’m not among those placing familiars on the wrong level.  Some would put human bonds above God’s will and law.  Biblical admonitions can (and do for many) take a backseat to fraternal associations.  However, it is Scriptural to stand beside and behind your friends.  Something is wrong when we see people loosing connection with community.  It may be well-nigh impossible to know the reasons for withdrawal, but it is not a good sign.  Things don’t seem to be headed the right way. 

Many self-professed Christians have little use for the church.  As a pastor, there are many things I’m not too fond of myself.  In fact, I am highly critical of the church.  I am also highly supportive of the church which gives me license to be highly critical.  For all its faults, the church is the greatest institution on the face of the earth.  While I understand that the church has discouraged many, people are doing themselves a disservice in leaving the visible assembly of faith.  You, believer, need the church, and the church needs you.  If you lose your grip and footing in your local group, don’t blame someone else.  Are you headed in that direction?

Despite its fiery birth, spiritual ardor can cool.  Remember how we stood around the campfire and pledged allegiance to our God?  We didn’t think we’d end up where we are.  Little by little, we let go.  It was almost imperceptible at first.  We slipped and slipped, finally losing sight of the altars we erected in the warmth of revival.  There were signs of decline.

Some prefer not to acknowledge or name the truth.  If it’s true that you are letting go, I don’t want to know.  Leave softly.

But I want you to know that I depended on you, and I will miss you when you are gone.


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