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What is that to you?
- Jacob Ninan
When Jesus appeared to Peter after His resurrection and talked to him about taking care of His sheep, Peter was curious to know what would happen to John (Jn.21:20,22). Jesus' answer was to the effect, "Why are you worried about him, you just follow Me yourself" (v.23). Our tendency to get occupied with what is really none of our business is many times used by Satan to mislead us.
For example, what is our thought when we hear about a Christian leader who has fallen? Do we think, "If such a person has fallen, is there any hope for someone like me? Was this man cheating us when he claimed all kinds of experiences? Is there any truth at all in all that such preachers tell us? Have I been 'believing' in vain? I don't want to be fooled any more. It's better I take care of myself instead of depending on this God"? The Enemy is at work.
Even if everyone around us going to compromise, is that reason for us to compromise? Even if many people are only pretending to know God and trying to fool everyone, does it really mean that what we believe is also false? Even if many preachers are doing all their 'ministry' only to make money or their own empires, can we not do it differently for the glory of God?
The closer we are to the person who has fallen (maybe it is a close relative or someone we associated with for a long time!), the greater is the shock for us. But that does not mean that all that we have believed in and experienced are all only our imagination. The apostle John could say boldly with complete confidence, "We are from God" (1Jn.4:6). He had no doubt about that. So can we know for sure, any one of us who knows God personally and know that we are His children. This is what gives us boldness to stand for Him in all kinds of situations, even if we are threatened with death. We have a great number of Christians in history who have given their life for Christ because of their firm faith in Him. If our faith wavers in the face of challenges, what it shows us is that our faith is not real or it is weak (Pr.24:10), and not that the God we believe in is not real. If other people whom we looked up to fall, what it shows is that they have made a mistake. We mustn't allow their mistake to cause us to make a mistake of our own.
When temptations grow strong and survival becomes precarious, many people's love for God will faint (Mt.24:12,13). They will choose the tangible things of this earth in exchange for the invisible things of the life to come. But does that mean that we ourselves should give up our faith? For those who believe, what is not seen is also real (2Co.5:7).
Actually, if we lose out we are the ones who will suffer the consequences. We can't justify ourselves before God saying it was because someone else betrayed our trust. Salvation is a personal relationship, and we have to preserve our salvation no matter what others do. We cannot blame husband, wife, parents, pastor or church for our condition.