I was alone in the lunchroom when Rhonda came in. She sat down on the other side of the table, opened her lunch bag and announced “He told me I looked like a horse.”
“What? Who did?”
“Doug, that young guy who got a summer job here. He just walked up to me and said: ‘You look like a horse.’”
While I was trying to digest that, she asked: “He’s going to Bible School isn’t he? What is he learning there?”
“I don’t know”
That wasn’t entirely true. There were stories about the students from the Bible College that Doug attended. They had a reputation for unusual and inconsiderate behaviour. The school encouraged them to “Quench not the Spirit.” Be open and enthusiastic and speak and act according to the impulses that came to them.
“What does he plan to do when he graduates? Become a missionary?”
“How is that going to work?”
I allowed that it didn’t seem that Doug had quite got the hang of relating to other people in a way that would be an asset to the cause of Christ.
With that our conversation turned to subjects other than Doug, but every once in a while it replays in my mind. Rhonda was Roman Catholic. Working with Doug did not give her the impression that evangelical Christianity had anything to interest her.
I am all in favour of enthusiasm and of being prompt to follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. But the Bible also tells us that the spirits of the prophets are subject to the prophets, that we need to prove the spirits, and that we will one day need to give account for every idle word that we have spoken. Doug failed on all counts.
Here are some wise counsels from the apostle Paul: “Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man” Colossians 4:6 . “Young men likewise exhort to be sober minded. In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity, sound speech, that cannot be condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil thing to say of you” Titus 2:6-8.
[A true story, names have been changed, location shall remain unidentified.]