WednesDevotionals ~ A Question Asked in Innocence

1 Thessalonians 3: In fact, when we were with you, we kept telling you that we would be persecuted. And it turned out that way, as you well know. For this reason, when I could stand it no longer, I sent to find out about your faith. I was afraid that in some way the tempter had tempted you and that our labors might have been in vain. (NIV)

A mother walked into the bedroom of her eleven-year-old son one night to find him silently crying into his pillow.  She sat down, gently rubbed his back and asked him what was wrong.  Slowly, he turned to her and said something completely unexpected.

“What if it’s not real?” he sniffed.  “What if God and Jesus and all of it just isn’t real?”

They were a family that had walked with Christ for several years now.  In fact, only a few months ago, this same young man had expressed interest in possibly being baptized.  So naturally the question took her by surprise, but only for a moment.  She looked into his eyes; full of so much hope, questions, innocence and doubt for someone so young. 

Then, softly she answered.  “Well, it’s a decision we all have to make, and sometimes we have to make it many, many times throughout our lives.

“You have to decide whether or not the way the Scriptures ask you to live; to love one another, to live compassionately, to kindness, humility, self-control, all of that; you have to ask if that’s the way you would choose to live even if none of it were true.”

The boy thought for a moment.

“Yeah,” he said slowly, “I think I would.”

Well then,” the mother said with a smile, “whether or not it’s true is irrelevant, isn’t it?  It doesn’t mean anything.  It wouldn’t change anything for you anyway, would it?”

“No,” the boy said, “I guess not.”

“That’s right,” the mom said, her smile widening, “But, what if it is true?”

The boy cocked his head, furrowing his brow thoughtfully.

“If it is true,” the mom said, finishing his unformed thought, “It changes everything, doesn’t it?”

1 Corinthians 15: Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.  For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures  . . . 57 But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 58 Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. (NIV)

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3 thoughts on “WednesDevotionals ~ A Question Asked in Innocence”

  1. I wonder if Abraham would have tried to offer Isaac as a sacrifice if he had asked himself the same question. Do you think that since most Christians today don’t believe in the OT commands of killing non-believers, etc, that makes things like Pascal’s Wager easier accept?

    1. Ah, Nate! Nothing like a little light reading to wake a guy up in the morning, ha ha! I was familiar with Pascal’s Wager but wanted to do a little more research on it so I could more fully understand your question. First off though:

      I wonder if Abraham would have tried to offer Isaac as a sacrifice if he had asked himself the same question.

      I’m sure the majority of us if faced with a situation similar to Abraham’s would very well have asked that question—so I’m not so sure he didn’t at some point along those three days they traveled. The fact that he went through with it anyway and as is noted in Hebrews 11, is credited to him as faith. After all, that’s all faith is, at least to me: the preponderance of belief in something despite confirming evidence in support. Abraham was told before that it would be through Isaac that his descendants would be too numerous to count. So, at least in my opinion, Abraham had to have the belief that: a)God would provide a way out of his predicament; b)God would raise Isaac from the dead, or; c) . . . who knows!??

      My question back would be; what would it have felt like, in going through all that turmoil in the preceding days, to have your hand stayed by the very messenger of God and then have a sacrifice provided for you, seemingly out of nowhere? What would that do to your confidence in faith?

      As far as the second half of your question, I’m going to do a little more thinking on that in order to give it the justice it deserves. Talk to ya soon!

      1. Thanks Kent!

        And my question may not have been that clear to begin with. I was pretty tired when I wrote it…

        What I was getting at is this: Christians today often say that if Christianity ends up being false, they’re not really out anything. After all, living as a Christian is a good, moral way to live (Pascal’s Wager, in other words). However, if you had been Abraham, and a voice told you to kill your son, if that voice is actually just delusion and not really God, you stand to lose everything.

        As you know, I don’t think the Abraham story is true anyway, I just think it’s interesting to think about.

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