03 January 2013

Pilgrim's Progress: To Be Considered a Fool

Pilgrim's family is worried about him.  He is fearful and trembling, though they know not why. He explains to his wife that they are bound for ruin. They responded not with repentance, but rather with astonishment. "At this, his relations were sore amazed, not for that they believed that what he had said to them was true, but that they thought some frenzy distemper had gotten into his head" (p. 14). Essentially, they thought he was sick and would get over it, yet he persisted.  When his troubles did not pass, his family changed from concern to hardening.  "Sometimes they would deride, sometimes they would chide, and sometimes they would quite neglect him" (p. 14).

As humans, we are predisposed to desire popularity.  We want to be liked, particularly by those close to us.  When we become believers, we want to share our joy with our families. We also want to share with them the penalty they face if they do not accept the free gift of salvation.  But we are often ignored.  If we persist, we are told to shut up, we are told things like "don't ever talk to me about this again."  But how are we to respond?  How do we react when those we love are walking willingly into eternal suffering?  Pilgrim's response was to "retire himself to his chamber to pray for and pity them" (p. 14-15).

I pray for my friends and family who don't know Christ. I want them to see their sin and to see the Savior.

Yet another said, “I will follow you, Lord, but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” Jesus said to him, “No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.”-Luke 9:61-62

Have you found your family or close friends to ignore or openly criticize your faith? How have you responded?  How do you pray for them?

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