Re: Chaplains Corner
An interesting thing happened to me a couple years ago. I was walking into the Dollar General store in Clarksville, TN, when I noticed a young man coming toward the door from the inside in some obvious physical difficulty. Under his shirt, I could see some angular lines that indicated to me that he was wearing some kind of brace, and it was making movement difficult for him. I stepped back outside the door and held it wide for him to pass through. As he shuffled through the door, a boxed set of sheets fell out from under his shirt. He bent and scooped them up, then continued to try to run while holding other items under his shirt. He ran to a car that was driven by a woman who was waiting with the motor running. As I stood there in shock, a clerk started yelling “Shoplifter!” and running toward the door. To be completely fair, I held the door open for them, too, but the young man had jumped into the car, and it was already speeding away.
Now let us consider another scenario. What if I had realized what this man was doing, and held the door open for him intending to help him get away. Then, what if that door slipped from my hand and hit him, knocking him down so that the clerk caught him before he escaped.
In the true story, I helped a man commit a crime while trying to do right.
In the “what if” account, I wanted to help a man commit a crime, and instead had helped to stop him.
In which account did I sin?
Only in the second one. God does not look at results, God looks into our hearts and judges us on our intentions, not on the actual outcome. Thankfully, because so often we TRY to do right, and muck it up. And we never get “credit” for a good outcome of any actions we take in an effort to do wrong.
Proverbs 17:3 (KJV);
“The fining pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD trieth the hearts.”
And there you have it. God does not judge you by your brain; your intellect is of little interest to Him. He does not judge you by your muscular development; your physical strength is nothing to Him. He judges your heart; what you intend to do, what you try to do, what you desire to do. Anything else means little.
Helping a shoplifter escape is not the worst thing I have ever done, but it is the worst I am likely to use in a sermon illustration.
God bless you, guys!
Christ told me to arm myself. If you want me disarmed - - Molon Labe.