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.

Print &
Online Subscription

Get six issues (one year) of Touchstone PLUS full online access including pdf downloads for only $39.95. That's only $3.34 per month!


Get a one-year full-access subscription to the Touchstone online archives for only $19.95. That's only $1.66 per month!

bulk subscriptions

Order Touchstone subscriptions in bulk and save $10 per sub! Each subscription includes 6 issues of Touchstone plus full online access to—including archives, videos, and pdf downloads of recent issues for only $29.95 each! Great for churches or study groups.

Transactions will be processed on a secure server.

more from the online archives

36.1—Jan/Feb 2023

Contraceptive Cons

A History of the Protestant Debate over Contraception by James A. Altena

34.1—January/February 2021

Whose Wife Shall She Be?

Jesus' Astonishing Other Teaching on Marriage by James Ware

10.4—Fall 1997

Lessons from the Nursery

The Catholic Imagination Encounters Bambi by James L. Sauer

calling all readers

Please Donate

"There are magazines worth reading but few worth saving . . . Touchstone is just such a magazine."
—Alice von Hildebrand

"Here we do not concede one square millimeter of territory to falsehood, folly, contemporary sentimentality, or fashion. We speak the truth, and let God be our judge. . . . Touchstone is the one committedly Christian conservative journal."
—Anthony Esolen, Touchstone senior editor

Support Touchstone