This week, I had an imaginary encounter with God the banker. He said to me, “You know that I see all of the activity in your bank account. Lately, you have been depositing a lot of checks from people with insufficient funds in their accounts. Of course, you can do business with anyone you choose, but it is going to cost you every time a check is returned NSF.”
I was confused. Every time I bounced a check, the banker forgave me. Over the years, I’ve seen him extend generous amounts of credit regardless of the ability to pay. So I went to speak to my financial adviser, the one who warned me about the dangers of greed and self-indulgence and the risks of storing my treasures here on earth.
“Teacher, of course it upsets me that some of my friends pass bad checks. But I’m trying to do what you taught me. Love my neighbor as myself. Judge not, lest I be judged. Turn the other cheek. It feels like God is telling me to reject my enemies, not to love them.”
“Child,” he said (yes, he still calls me that at my age), “you remind me of my disciple Peter. You mean well but sometimes you just don’t get it. You have in mind the ways of man but not of God.” He paused for a moment and as he did, I heard a rooster crow. He resumed, “These are difficult lessons for anyone to learn. Did I not tell you to be on guard against the yeast of the Pharisees and Sadducees?”
“Yes Lord, you did, though I’m not sure who is who these days. But you also said that the enemy sowed weeds among the wheat and we’re not supposed to pull them because we might destroy the wheat too. Let them both grow together until the harvest.”
“Child, you are able to see the beauty in weeds. This is good. But there are many kinds of weeds. Some are invasive. Some are toxic. Do you remember what happened that time you rode your bike in the grass?”
“Yes, there were burrs in the grass and I got a flat tire. Those burrs are sharp and they stick to everything. I’ve learned to avoid them.”
Quoting Proverbs 4:23, my teacher said, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
I thought about the bad checks that have gone into my social media account, even without my explicit endorsement. The classmate who posted a racist meme about Barack Obama. NSF! The classmate who posted a video of sheep, calling it the March for Our Lives. NSF! The classmate who shared a “Power of Trump” meme that said that we didn’t “hire” him because he is squeaky clean; we hired him to sweep the trash from the corrupt government and he is the only one with the balls to do so. NSF! NSF!
Every time I see a social media post from a “friend” who has insufficient funds in their heart, it costs me. I get angry. My soul feels deflated. I feel my light fading. Their friendship isn’t worth the cost. Although it feels like I’m giving up on them, in reality, I’m letting go of something that had no value.