“For what shall it profit a man, if he should gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Or, what would a man give in exchange for his soul?” – Mark 8: 36, 37 (KJV)
Those words taunted her–especially the latter part. While she knew that she was saved, the challenge to compromise was a nagging presence.
She was captivated by and carried away by the attention that was constantly given to her. She did not know how to handle it: the years of childhood abuse, the search for attention and literally falling through cracks on the journey to adulthood did not prepare her to handle such situations.
When a handshake, stealth in its exchange, brought conviction, followed by oppression to her spirit, she knew that she would have to risk and confess her dilemma, if she were to have closure and have peace within her soul. Supposing to be sensitive to the Holy Spirit’s guidance, she decided to make the dreaded phone call.
The phone rang at least four times on the other end…then picked up…
“Good morning, Pastor. This is Lacey. How are you?” she stuttered.
“Hi Lacey, how are you today?” he returned with a calming southern drawl.
“I’m okay (then a longer than usual silent pause, but I need to speak to you about something,” she said hesitantly.
“What is it, Lacey?” he pressed
In the blur of the moment, with millions of thoughts racing in her head and with the queasiness in her stomach, without thinking, she blurted…
“I don’t know, but I think I have a crush on you.”
She continued, “…but I am sorry! PLEASE forgive me!” she agonizingly poured out.
“Don’t worry, Lacey; I forgive you,” he admitted.
“Okay,” she stuttered before saying thanks and putting an end to the call.
She did not mean to say the word “crush”. In her heart she had an attraction, but not to the point of a teenage fascination. The thought of this mix up in words made her feel guilty and dirty, and the condemnation was too much to handle, but it was too late to turn back the clock now. The memories of Shakespeare’s line: “There are four things that come not back... “replayed on her conscious; the spoken word and the neglected opportunity were at least two such lines; she could not retract her unguarded statement nor retrace those forbidden steps she had taken. She had become a self-tormented castaway, whose recluse lay bound within a conscience that would not let her peaceably lie. Her justification lay in the finished work of Christ and what punishment were to be meted out lay in the Hand of a God who is just in His dealings.
Pills of compromise and condemnation do not promote good spiritual health. Rather, it is the bitter pill…the hard-to-swallow pill that becomes the necessary pills which, “after a time, yield the peaceable fruit of the spirit”.
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