11/20/09 Jim, about 45
I had some extra time on my hands at a Lowes Home Store, so I looked to start a conversation with someone but found myself fearful again. I walked the aisles thanking God for giving me the boldness I need and praying He will help me overcome my fear, and this verse came to mind with a whole new meaning: "Perfect love drives out fear" (1 John 4) If I truly love God I will keep His commands, and He commands me to love my neighbor, and if I truly love my neighbor I will cast out my fears and share the words of eternal life! That settled, I talked to Jim, a contractor who takes pride in his honest and trustworthy business. He told me he is Catholic but isn't too involved with church. He believes in God, hopes there is a heaven, and doesn't believe in hell. Ho doesn't think anyone will be punished for sin because he believes all sin comes from mental illness or temporary insanity. He even defended Hitler with these excuses. I asked if he has gone against what his conscience knows to be right behavior - and he has - but it seems that if mass murderers and rapists have excuses for their "bad decisions", than Jim would find it hard to be concerned about his own sin. Only God can bring the conviction that can help Jim know his true state before a holy God.