This week I’m sharing a story from my Christian Survival Guide book about the time I avoided a man who was a former Christian:
From the post…
I had a lot of reasons to hate Clark.
We were polar opposites in every way. I’m a driven, self-starter who would rather die than break the rules. He was the atypical slacker who did the bare minimum to get by, letting others, namely me, do the heavy lifting for him. He’d chat up anyone near his office, and when company proved hard to find, he’d wander the building in search of anyone willing to kill a half hour with him.
When I didn’t cover for his deficiencies, Clark snapped that I’d better do my job.
I stormed away, swearing just loud enough for a co-worker to hear me.
Clark brought out the worst in me, and I let it happen rather than seeking to understand him or at least have a frank conversation about our differences. Over the years, we maintained an uneasy truce with our parallel careers within a small business of no more than ten employees.
At a company event, we happened to end up sitting next to each other. Seeking any kind of conversation topic, I asked him about his family who lived a few hours away. He mentioned that they were Christians, and he couldn’t stand the people at their church.
No surprise there. I was sure they felt the same way about him.
Clark went on to share that he had, in fact, been a Bible study leader and church elder before leaving the faith. I can’t tell you what we talked about after that. I just remember being shocked and then suddenly quite afraid.
Clark had a significant amount of Bible knowledge. He’d been taught everything that I knew. For some reason it stopped working for him.
Why? Why did he leave the faith? Honestly, I didn’t want to know.
Seeing Clark as a fallen Christian suddenly opened my eyes to my own hypocrisy. I had failed him greatly by hating him for his work habits. And when I learned that he had left the faith, I only wanted to write him off all the more. I didn’t want to wrestle with any of the questions or issues that wrecked his faith.
Fearing the fate of my fragile faith, I distanced myself from doubters like Clark.
Isn’t that something we’re all tempted to do when we meet someone who has left the faith?