Published January 10, 2012

Shelia Shares....
"Purposeful Advice"

Sometimes we will never know the result of actions that we take or words that we say. Sometimes the past comes back.

In 1997, a 28-year-old listener to The Gospel Greats program wrote to tell me about her boyfriend, who she said was "honest, honorable and my closest friend." He sounded like a great guy and they were getting serious. They believed they were meant to be together.

However, she also said, "He needs to know the Lord." That raised a red flag for me.

I tend to be pretty honest with people. I am not the one to ask to bless a union that I believe is scripturally wrong. I responded to her letter with the following:

"It is wonderful to have a special friend. However, the Bible is very specific that a Christian and a non-Christian cannot be joined as one. I can tell you from experience that it is not easy to get out of a relationship if you allow it to continue. In fact, it becomes harder as time goes on. I can also tell you from experience that when we give up on trying to get God to see our point and approve our relationships, he brings a better Christian relationship along. I was 29 when Paul and I were married. And, I have thanked the Lord many times for the stumbling blocks he put before other relationships.

"I received a letter last summer from a listener. She and her husband celebrated 50 years of marriage. Her husband is still not a Christian and her comment was, ‘It is a sad thing to ignore the will of God and do what you want.' There speaks the voice of experience.

"We will pray for you."

I sent the letter and not getting a reply was no surprise.

Fast forward to October, 2010, when I received a letter from the same listener. Included in the envelope was the letter I had written many years before. "I held on to the letter hoping to send a praise report...and finally I can!" Other lines from the recent letter included, "I took the advice to heart." "God kept me from making the biggest mistake of my life."

She then went on to talk about a man she had met in 2010 and that they would be married later in the year. "There is a deep settled peace that this is the man God had me wait for."

She concluded the letter with, "Thank you again for writing so long ago. As you can see, I kept the letter. It meant a lot to me."

Never underestimate what your action or your words can mean to another person. People are in our life for a purpose. We don't enter someone else's life by mistake. Use the opportunities that God gives you to make a positive influence. You might never know what your kindness has done. Sometimes you might learn thirteen years later.

- Shelia

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