Hi! You and I are friends. Such close friends we are that whenever I am in trouble, I call you. When other people talk poorly about you, you call me. We talk. We talk a lot. Sometimes we talk about important things: God’s direction in our lives, choosing a college, picking the right career (we really don’t want to mess this up). We wonder if there is only one opportunity to choose the correct vocation. If we choose the wrong ones, do we pay for those mistakes for the rest of our lives? We talk. We talk about the need to buy a car when there is not enough money for insurance. We ask why so many of our “friends” drink.
Sometimes, we discuss nothing at all- for a long time! We could talk for hours about nothing: who likes whom, if it is “who likes whom” or “who likes who,” the purpose of grammar anyway, if so-and-so are back together, why your little brother is grounded, laughing about a couple at the mall, stuff we bought at the mall, griping about curfews, etc.
You get the idea. We are good friends. Best friends. Now, I have to know. Tell me the truth. Would you come to me if you knew I did something rebellious? Would you call me up if you saw me intentionally do something wrong? Would you…?
If I went to a party at a classmate’s house and got plastered?
If I went to a party and had three beers?
If I went to a party and had one sip? Or none at all?
Where would you draw the line?
If I went to the theatre and saw an R-rated movie?
If I rented an R-rated video and watched it in the comfort of my own home?
If I liked a PG-13 movie?
If I knew your sister had gone to the movies and did not tell you?
How much of this concerns you?
If I went on a date and had sex?
If I went way too far, but not all the way?
If I went just a little beyond kissing?
If the date was for all the wrong reasons?
If my date was questionably of Christian character?
Why are you upset with me?
If I skipped church Sunday evening to drive out to the beach?
If I told my parents I went to another church in order to skip?
If I skipped church on Good Friday by intentionally picking up hours at work?
If you did any of these things with me, what could you say then? A-ha! Would you still feel guilty and bring it up anyway?
You may not be able to answer all of these questions right away. But, it is important to me as your best friend to know how you feel. It makes me feel good to know that you would admonish me for sinning. I can only hope that I would respond in true Christian manner. It makes me feel good to know that you care about me enough to confront me. I would do the same for you.
Don’t stop reading. Keep going through this last part. Drop whatever you are doing and listen. What you and I need to know is that your reaction to my sin makes a huge difference. Where you decide to draw the line and when you admonish me plays a big role in the future life of our congregation. This is where you say, “Huh? What are you talking about?” Perhaps no one else would ever find out if I drank like a fish and you never scolded me for it. I am saying to you that your reaction or inaction is a deciding factor, used instrumentally by God, in deciding the health of our church. No Christian admonition, no spiritual health. No spiritual health, no church. We as young people do play a part. As the future of His church, D. V., we need to stay in good shape. Our fitness determines the unity of the brethren. Admonition can play a big role.
So, would you confront me if I watched a made-for-TV movie?
Would you admonish me if I watched the Super Bowl?
If I watched soap operas in the afternoon?
If I watched pseudo-soap operas during primetime?
If I watched 20 hours of sports a week?
If I watched Home Improvement?
If I watched Seinfeld?
What if I did homework on Sunday? Would you talk to me?
I pray to God that you would confront me about every single thing listed above. Each one is bad, and I hope that you would be there for me to tell that there are better ways to spend my time. Not enough good admonition goes on around here. Not enough goes on among conscientious young people. Let’s pick up the banner and take charge. God help us.
Tom is a member of Hudsonville Protestant Reformed Church in Hudsonville, Michigan