I was a brand new Christian and I had the fire all right. I was saved, born again and full of the Holy Spirit. I was full of something anyway. I thought it was the Holy Spirit but, on reflection, I think I was more full of sh*t than Spirit.
My Mum had been born again at about the same time as me and she was concerned for my soul. She thought I needed to find a church to nurture me and help me grow as a Christian so she came to see me and help me find one.
She took me to visit a few likely places and, at one of them, the pastor left his meal to speak with us.
I was not about to join a “false” church — be led astray by those to whom God would say “I never knew you” in the end days. I was all puffed up with my own importance as a brand new Christian so I “interviewed” the pastor to see if his faith was real.
After a few questions, rude and arrogant and tactless questions, I decided the man was an impostor and I got even ruder and more arrogant and tactless. My mother worked hard to instill good manners in her offspring when we were young. She sat there and listened until she could not bear my rudeness any longer then she dragged me home.
I was offended. Why had she dragged me away just when I seemed to have the man cornered with my arguments? Surely mother could have waited for me to bring this impostor into the light. I was convinced I almost had him ready to admit his sins and confession would have set him on the path to redemption — right?
Mother tried to be gentle but I got the message loud and clear. She thought nothing else mattered apart from my lack of manners. We had a fight and she said she would pray for me. After she left I complained bitterly to God.
“As far as Mum is concerned I am wrong even when I’m right! All I was trying to do was win a soul and that’s the thanks I get for putting myself on the line.”
A gentle thought popped into my mind. I knew it wasn’t my thought because it was asking a question I would never have dreamed of asking myself.
“Were you trying to win a soul – or an argument?”
There was nobody to fight, no need to defend myself, it was just a question. I saw the truth instantly. I knew it wasn’t saving the man’s soul that mattered to me. I didn’t really believe I could save a soul. I realised immediately that I had been trying to win an argument and I was astounded to discover that I had been lying to myself.
That was my second lesson from God.
Always double check what I say to myself because sometimes it isn’t the truth. It’s a lie I want to believe is the truth.