Articles by Stan Dean

Tests Of Honesty And Courage

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Brad was just a young man at the time, in his early twenties. He and his wife were expecting their first child. He was (and is) multi-talented, energetic, and always smiling. Yet, on the day he dropped by my office he was not his usual self and it was obvious that something was preying on his mind.

He was a bit fidgety and did not sit down as we did the preliminary “small talk” that prefaces most conversations. Then he blurted, “I’ve got something that I really need to talk to you about.” I assured him that I was a friend and willing to listen- - and so he began.

He had only been a Christian for about two years and had little prior religious background. Most of the old life had been relatively easy to leave behind, but there were still challenges. The one that troubled him on this occasion was “stopping off for a couple of beers” with his old buddies on his way home from work. “My question is this”, he said, “Do you think that is wrong?”

I began by pointing out some Biblical passages like Galatians 5:21 that address strong drink and then I made reference to Matthew 5:13-16 and commented on the Christian and his influence. But before I finished, he began to affirmatively nod his head and confessed, “I know.”  “You know what?” I asked. “I know you are right. In fact, I knew what was right before I came here today. I think I just needed someone else to tell me.”

In my judgment,  Brad represents a lot of people in that they often know in their hearts how they should live- -  it is just being honest enough to accept it and courageous enough to do it that create the problem. Thankfully, Brad was honest with himself and courageous enough to correct those short-comings and is now living a devoted Christian life. He passed those tests.

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