Earlier this week, my wife had a knock on the door of our home. It’s not that common to have folks stop by on a weekday morning, so she was quite curious about who it was.
When she opened the door, standing there was a real estate agent. Since our community has a very “hot” real estate market right now, the agent was asking if she could come in and look about, perchance to help us make a pile of money by selling our house.
My wife’s simple but firm answer was, “No.”
The agent didn’t want to take “no” for an answer, so she pushed – verbally, not physically, of course – but the answer was still, “No.”
At that point, my wife did not really want to tell her why. She found the agent a bit pushy, and didn’t feel the need to offer the satisfaction of a reason. She simply bade the agent a good day and sent her on her way.
When I got home for lunch, she told me the story. I asked, “Did you give her ‘the line’?”
She had not. It’s too bad, because I love to see the look on inquiring agents’ faces when I carefully look around me and say, “I’d love to sell this house. But I would be put in prison for a long time if I did.”
See, we live in a manse. The church owns the home we live in; I couldn’t sell it, because I don’t hold the title to the property!
I know that the vast majority of real estate agents are not like the one who showed up on the front step of the manse earlier this week. And one certainly can’t fault her for making an effort! But I think this incident is a good illustration of the importance of healthy discernment.
We understand this completely when it comes to people knocking on our doors. But do we understand it emotionally? Sometimes, we open the doors of our hearts to people who shouldn’t be let in.
Just as we use good judgment before letting people into our homes, we should use good discernment before letting people into our lives at a deep level.
I think one of the best ways to apply this is in marriage. It becomes easy to become enamored of someone, for whatever reason, and to find our hearts wrapped up around someone who, spiritually, is not on the same page we are. That’s one of the reasons the apostle Paul wrote this to the church in Corinth: “Don’t team up with those who are unbelievers. How can righteousness be a partner with wickedness? How can light live with darkness? What harmony can there be between Christ and the devil? How can a believer be a partner with an unbeliever? And what union can there be between God’s temple and idols? For we are the temple of the living God” (2 Corinthians 6.14-16a, NLT).
After all, if I am a follower of Jesus, I am part of the church – the temple of the living God. And that means I don’t hold the title to myself; it belongs to Jesus, just as I belong to Jesus. And if you’re a follower of Jesus, that holds true for you, too.
When someone’s knocking on the door of your heart, be discerning.