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 Vol. 4, No. 9 

September, 2002

~ Page 15 ~

A Wasted Life

By Bob Spurlin

His name was Bobby who came from a Christian home in Southern Mississippi. He was nineteen years old, married to a beautiful young Christian woman and had a year old son. Bobby's mother was a faithful Christian and taught Bobby along with his siblings the tenets of Christianity and the basic principles of right and wrong. This young adult, with all the advantages that one might have, died in a jail cell hanging himself to death. Bobby was obsessed with a drug addiction that he could not conquer. The writer visited him one evening before his incarceration and attempted to show how fortunate he was to have a wife and son that loved him along with his parents and siblings that cared desperately for his well being. Bobby replied, "The drugs are so powerful that I cannot give them up." Trying to talk to someone that has his body poisoned with an illegal substance is a pointless exercise. What a heartbreaking circumstance when we cannot persuade such pitiable young man to see that he is self-destructing.

One of the saddest events in this preacher's ministry of thirty years was to preach the funeral sermon on behalf of the family, friends and scores of brethren to Bobby. There has never been a more emotion charged atmosphere than the one just described. We are not the judge and cannot change the state of anyone that has crossed the chilly waters of Jordan to the other side. It should be stated that our youth and adults as well should learn some valuable lessons from Bobby who squandered and wasted the most valuable gift he had, his life and soul (Matthew 7:1; 7:16, James 4:14; Matthew 10:28).

1. Choosing the right friends will help us to meet our moral dilemmas. Bobby was brought up by strict parents and was given a positive example (Colossians 3:20-21). He had loving parents and a mother that was the anchor of the home. The father was committed to his business, yet was a caring parent, who maintained a disciplined home. Make no mistake about it; Bobby and his siblings were given a large dose of love and compassion, as plenty of nurturing was evident (Ephesians 6:4). If Bobby had not taken the wrong path there is no doubt that he could have made a real contribution to his fellowman. It breaks my heart to think what this fine young man could have accomplished, if he had not allowed others to influence him otherwise (Exodus 23: 2). The company he kept would only pull him down to the morass of destruction, and being arrested on a narcotics charge was the evidence of such. We must come to recognize that we are each accountable for our actions, and placing blame on others is a fruitless endeavor. Note the words of Paul "Be not deceived: evil communications (companions) corrupt good manners (morals)" (1 Corinthians 15:33). One of the most important decisions we will make in life is the selection of friends. Good friends whom we select will be friends to Jesus. Jesus said, "Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you" (John 15:14). True friends will not lead us to compromise and violate our consciences as it relates to our morals. Real friends will always say yes to those decisions that are right and no to those things that will harm us.

2. Abstaining from the very appearance of evil is a positive guide. Bobby's rebellion led to a path that would spiral in a downward direction. This, of course, caused great pain and agony to the family and friends. His life was wasted when he failed to follow the guide "abstain from the very appearance of evil" (1 Thessalonians 5:22). Satan knows perfectly how to exploit the weakness of us all. James writes:

"but every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death" (James 1:14-15).

Satan knew the weaknesses of Adam and Eve, Cain, Lot, Judas, Demas, and in the twenty-first century, we can be just as susceptible to the adversary. We must learn the lesson from Bobby as Satan seduced him with the addiction of drugs. What are our weaknesses? Let us recognize what they are and make every effort to be prepared for the temptation. Following the guide to abstain from the very appearance of evil is the safe course to follow.

3. Any life that faces a moral crisis must conform to the Word of God in all decisions. Bobby had abandoned the Holy Scriptures upon which the church was built, and it was quite apparent that was the beginning of his problems. The sweet singer of Israel said, "Thy word is a lamp unto our feet and a light unto my path" (Psalm 119:105). Our only connection to God is through prayer and a regular inspection of the Holy Scriptures. Reader friend, how often have you observed those who are engaged in all kinds of mischief and immoral behavior that are avid readers and practitioners of the Bible? Prayer and practice of biblical principles will enable us to meet the attacks that would stalk our souls. Bobby could not withstand the onslaughts of Satan's attack because he was ill prepared. Paul writes, "Put on the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil"(Ephesians 6:11). The Word of God offers the proper equipment, but we must make use of it or else our spiritual enemy, Satan, will ambush us. If Bobby were able to go back and make the necessary changes in his life, there is no question that he would implement the three principles discussed above. Let us not waste our lives but live them to the fullest as mandated by our holy God.

Dear reader friend, this is a true story, which comes with great pain and agony. There can be no question that this true story could be multiplied many times over. May I exhort young people and adults as well to do every thing within their power to prevent such a horrific event from repeating itself?Image

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