Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "A Man is Known by the Company He Keeps" (without using the actual phrase). (01/31/08)
TITLE: A good group of folks...
By Misti Chancellor
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“Well, James, I’ll answer that question if you can tell me what sin the man’s committed,” Paul said quietly. “If you can tell me why we’re dis-fellowshipping a man who has bent over backward to keep the peace, who has searched his soul and the scriptures to find what is true, and who has shown more humility even in the midst of suffering things he shouldn’t have had to suffer than I’ve seen in a long time, then I’ll answer your question.”
James huffed out an exasperated breath. “I tell you, the man’s stubborn! He just wouldn’t listen, and besides that he’s just plain wrong. He’s dangerous. Can’t you see that? If he can influence you this much, don’t you see how dangerous he is? Besides, he was the one who decided to leave. We didn’t cut him off.”
Paul ran aged fingers through his thinning grey hair, and sighed. “Son, if I’d known it was going to be this way when I turned over the pastorate to you, I would have just stayed on. They threw Daniel to the lions, and you know it. I’m disappointed in you, but I’ll do my best not to cause a problem. Just so you know, though, I’m not going to back down from what is true. So, do what you feel you have to do.” He rose to his feet and limped toward the door, pulling his jacket on as he went. He paused and turned… his hand on the knob.
James grimaced, and an angry flush rose in his cheeks. “You’re no longer allowed to participate in the services. We’ll be praying for your soul.”
Paul bowed his head slightly and after a few moments looked at James and said sadly, “God forgive you for what you’ve done,” and slipped quietly out the door.
As he climbed painfully into his truck moments later, he whispered, “Lord, forgive him, he’s young and he doesn’t know what he’s doing.” He started the truck and smiled, “When I think about others that have suffered for choosing to take the hard road of truth… you know, I guess I’m being classed with a pretty good group of folks after all.”
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