Left Jesus Out
It was nearing Christmas, and a pastor received a phone call from a man who needed to talk to a counselor. The man came to the church office, where he told his tale of woe. A decade earlier, he killed his wife in a fit of anger, was convicted of manslaughter, and spent several years in prison. He and his wife had a daughter who was in the custody of his in-laws. He had not seen her since the crime, and now, as Christmas neared, his heart ached. Tears streaming down his face, he lamented, "I could pass her on the streets of this city and not even know who she was."
It was an emotionally charged session that was heavy with regret, but the power of that moment was not what the pastor remembered. What he remembered most about the counseling session, however, was what the man said when he first walked into the office. Dramatically raising his arms he had said, "Now, preacher, let's just leave Jesus out of this, okay?"
As he sadly went his way that day, the pastor thought to himself, That's the whole problem. You've left Jesus out.