What would be your first words of counsel to my friend Carl?
Carl professed faith in Jesus three years ago. He seems to be very gifted but he’s also very unpolished. He is still a pretty immature believer but he wants to be teaching and leading. He criticizes his pastor and other spiritual leaders constantly. He plays favorites. He has a list of people that he likes and rejects everyone else that doesn’t match up. He has even “grown” so much that he no longer follows the man that originally led him to Christ—he considers him an uneducated dolt.
It’s not just his pride that causes trouble for Carl. He also is pretty loose with his lifestyle. He has become a horrible witness to the community. Don’t get me wrong, he has plenty of friends in the world, and he may even share Jesus with some of them. But, his lifestyle is very much the same as the world. He is liberal in his acceptance of not only his own sin but also that of others. Furthermore, his business practices are shady. It seems he will do anything to get a dollar. It’s all about success for Carl.
He seems to be spiraling downward. As an example he recently got drunk (still not sure how) at one of our church gatherings. It was one of those special occasions of church unity and fellowship. Carl was drunk even before the party started. Ridiculous.
Carl recently approached me with some theology questions. Obviously there are bigger issues we need to address.
But I’m curious, how would you start in addressing these things?