I have a good friend who taught me much about marketing, recruiting, administrating, dealing with sin, relationships, smoking a cigar, and many other things.
A long time ago, he hired me to take his place. I "fired" him, and he willingly left, in order to save his marriage. His marriage was saved. I later hired him to replace me.
Two months ago, he gave advice that I detested. In general, the advice was to remain a friend to the one who is running toward danger, the one who is intentionally choosing, in spite of confrontation, to go down a wrong path.
I detested this advice because I didn't want to be a co-conspirator, a facilitator in the other's path.
• If I listen to this person's retelling of the story, reshaping history, am I not endorsing their behavior?
• If they are continuing down a wrong path, isn't it better that I cut off the relationship and let them know how mad I am at them?
I was wrong to detest my good friend's advice. The grace of God is much more complex than my limited sense of justice and capitalistic sense of personal responsibility.
I have just now amazingly seen how one friend, sitting with the other, entering the path with the other, drinking a beer with the other, staying with the other, and not leaving in disgust or judgment, can be used by God to save the other. A person wise and understanding enough to save another by not leaving.
My good friend, you are right. I am wrong. I will strive to go down that path with the other, because I am down that path myself far too often. I am rescued only by those who go down it with me in order to save me.