You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, persecutions, sufferings—what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them. In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted, while evildoers and impostors will go from bad to worse, deceiving and being deceived. ~ 2 Timothy 3:10-13
You spend time around children as a care taker, a volunteer or as a teacher.
You have a responsibility legally, morally, spiritually.
You suspect a child’s family life may be harmful to him.
But, you carry on and go about your business hoping it’s your imagination.
Then you see marks on the child.
You ask the child questions.
You know he’s covering up.
You know what will happen if you pursue this with his parents so you try to avoid it.
Because you know the parents well it would be very uncomfortable to bring this up to them.
You try to forget about it.
Months go by.
The child, at last, reveals that things are “going on” in his home; he spills the beans to you and others.
The parents are called.
The parents are very angry and beside themselves that anyone would even question them.
They carry on with threats including that they do can whatever they want because it’s their child.
They said, “He’ll worship satan if we want him to.”
People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” ~ Mark 10:13-15
They continue to tell the child not to come home and that his clothes will be on the front lawn.
They say their child is a liar and that the child is just like his “real” parents.
The child is scared and doesn’t want to go home.
Short of calling Children Youth Services as someone mentioned, those now involved send the child home hoping that things would get better now that this is out in the open.
Really, none of you are sure what the best thing to do is but you know there will be consequences.
You and they try to get the family together to talk but the parents won’t allow their child near you.
They tell you their child doesn’t want to see you because he says you betrayed him.
The parents begin spreading lies about you to family and friends in order to solidify the reason why you cannot see the child so no one will ask.
You’re told by a family member that you never should have watched him in the first place.
That same family member tells you that you shouldn’t have shoved God down the parent’s throat. Why would they think that you did?
The family member said that they were told that by the child’s parent.
The family member believed the parent without talking to you.
This reveals something but there are too many other important things going on that you put that on the back burner.
So if it happened to Paul and Barnabas, it can happen to anyone.
“But the Jewish leaders incited the God-fearing women of high standing and the leading men of the city. They stirred up persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from their region.” ~ Acts 13:50
Who is the liar? It is whoever denies that Jesus is the Christ. Such a person is the antichrist—denying the Father and the Son. No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also. ~ 1John 2:22-23
It’s years later and the child is now an adult.
He comes to you one night with a heavy heart and tells you that he wasn’t lying all those years ago.
He continues to tell you that his parents forced him to lie and say that he lied and made up the story.
By obeying his parents, it restored their faith in him, for a short while, and he received their blessing, for a short while.
For doing so, they gave him back the privileges they had previously taken away from him.
He realizes now how bad things were back then.
Would it make any difference to you at all if the child was your family member?
An expert of the law asked, Who is my neighbor?
The Elephant Series: A room with a view