Ruining Interference

I remember with anger and resentment, and with thanks for the resolve to ignore them, the people (all aggressively religious women) who have thought they knew what was “God’s will” for me and thought of themselves as qualified, because of their great appreciation for “Jesus,” to interfere uninvited in my own spiritual life. The manly path forward in such things is almost always subtle, and is recognized by the one being sanctified as a major work in progress. Tremendous damage is done to the work of the Holy Spirit in changing a life by presumptuous advice-givers who want quick results for which they can regard themselves as the meritorious cause. The work of the Spirit is usually massive and slow—it has to be, in order to be kind, gentle, and lasting.

S. M. Hutchens is a Touchstone senior editor.

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