Shouldn’t Be Doing That!

My wife and I had just moved into our current home about a week before Halloween a couple of years ago. I wasn’t home when trick-or-treating began that year, so Karen was left alone to give out candy to the multitude of little goblins that descended on our neighborhood.

One of our first trick-or-treaters was a teenage girl. The girl handed her lit cigarette to her boyfriend, who remained near the street as she came up on our porch, held out a bag and said, “Trick or treat!”

Karen put some candy into her bag, but she couldn’t resist giving a little unsolicited advice—“If you’re old enough to smoke, you’re too old to trick-or-treat!”

When Karen later told me what she had done, my first thought was that the new preacher’s wife was going to be labeled “mean and judgmental”. My second thought was that I was glad she had given this mild rebuke. Perhaps it made the girl think about the choices she was making.

It’s often difficult to decide when to step in and say something critical about someone else’s behavior. However, the Bible says that there are times when that is the proper action to take. Let’s make sure we use discernment and discretion when deciding to correct someone.

“Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.”—Galatians 6:1.

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