But test everything; hold fast to what is good. Abstain from every form of evil. 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22
Life was good for contractor Ralph Bracamonte and his wife, Marcella, who is a stay-at-home mom for their three children.
Wishing to make their good life even better, the couple went to Craigslist to find a nanny. Their ad was answered, and filled by Diane Stretton. Their verbal agreement said Stretton would receive free room and board for helping out with the children and the home.
Yes, it was a good life. In the initial days of her employment Stretton went out with the family, assisted with the kids and, in many general ways, earned her keep. But then the day came when she approached her employers and said she had a condition that prevented her from working. After that Stretton stayed in her room and came out only when it was time to eat.
Feeling there had been a misunderstanding, the couple approached their nanny with a written copy of their verbal agreement. Their overtures were rejected, and when they tried to terminate their nanny, Stretton refused to leave. A formal notice of eviction was also rejected by the nanny and California's courts because it had not been filled out properly.
Police have said the matter needs to be handled through the courts. And the nanny, Mrs. Stretton, has threatened to sue the family for wrongful dismissal and abuse of the elderly. On her own, the nanny added she wanted the couple out of their own home between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.
Does the story sound unbelievable? Probably. Even so, it is a story which many of us, without ever having employed a nanny for our children, have personally experienced.
Let me ask, have you ever invited into your life something that sounded good but later proved to be demanding and unwanted? Have you ever repented of some wrongdoing and then found your sin wasn't ready to leave? Have you found that something which once seemed innocent and unassuming was taking control of your thoughts and your actions?
If so, you are hardly alone. Adam and Eve thought the forbidden fruit looked pretty tasty, so they ate. David thought Bathsheba was not unattractive, so he let his eye wander. Samson thought Delilah was far more intriguing that any of the Hebrew girls, so he hitched his wagon to her star.
Each and every one of these biblical personalities found it was easier to bring evil into their lives than it was to get that same evil out of their lives.
This is why we need the Savior.
Not only does Jesus forgive us of our wrongdoings, He also sends His Holy Spirit who can turn us from our transgression and help us live a life which is good for us, benefits those around us, and glorifies the Savior who gave His life for our redemption.
THE PRAYER: Dear Lord, grant that we may realize the closer we stay to Your will and wish, the better off will be our lives. Turn us from that which is wrong and direct us to a life that shows our gratitude for the salvation Jesus has won for us. In His Name. Amen.
All too often the job of reaching others is left to others. That can be unfortunate. After all, there are times when YOU may be the best person to reach someone who is lost or wandering. If you have always wanted to know how to do such a sharing of the Savior, you may want to attend Lutheran Hour Ministries' SENT Outreach Conference, which is July 24-27 in Detroit. For more information, visit www.lhm.org/conference.
In Christ I remain His servant and yours,
Pastor Ken Klaus
Speaker emeritus of The Lutheran Hour®
Lutheran Hour Ministries