Donald P. Ames
Recently my wife made a call to her mother in Aurora, Illinois. After a ring or two, the phone was lifted off the receiver. Then she heard it hit the floor, and a few seconds later a crash followed. She was sure she also heard a groan. Knowing her mother was in very bad health, she became uneasy especially when there was no response to her calls into the receiver. Finally, she hung up and tried again. The line was busy. Ten minutes later, it was still busy. She was by now very concerned. After several moments discussion, it was agreed to call her nephew in nearby Naperville and have him go over and see if her mom was OK. After all, he had a key to the house, and he could get in to see what had happened. Certainly her intentions were good in her concern for her mother.
David, in his sudden haste to get there, dashed out of the house so fast he left his keys behind. Now, he had no way to get back into the locked house, nor to get his car started. He had no way to get to her mom's! As he worried about the situation, he decided to call a friend who had a set of keys to his house. Meanwhile, what about Miram's mom? He decided if she was hurt, she could not afford delay, so he called 911. Again, his intentions of helping were good, and so was his concern.
The police, fire truck and ambulance all arrived at her mom's house in a matter of just a few minutes, but there was no way to get in. The house was dark and locked up. A car was parked next to the drive way in a crooked fashion it was not her folks' car! They looked through the windows with a flashlight, and saw the telephone lying in the middle of the floor, but could not see anyone. They too were now quite concerned what was going on in the house. Having David on the phone, they asked for permission to kick the door in. (Recently we had purchased a new lock for the door, as Miriam's mother was uneasy about the security of the house.) David granted it, worried about what might have happened. The door did not yield! They broke the glass, the lock still would not yield! They kicked hard, but the lock would not budge. Finally, they used an ax and cut the door to pieces (being an over-sized door, it has to be special made to replace, but by now all were concerned about what may have happened). The lock still would not yield! But access was ultimately gained into the house. They quickly searched the rooms to see if they could find anyone. Everyone was concerned, and all were working with good intentions of helping anyone who may be hurt, but no one was there!
It turns out Miriam's mom and dad had gone to a gospel meeting (apparently the phone had just vibrated off the table when it rang), and they drove up about that time to see glass and wood all over, the house broken into, and all the vehicles everywhere. They were shocked and a bit scared. But, they were OK! (And she will keep that lock!)
The point of all this is that many times we may be working with nothing but the best of intentions, but that doesn't mean we are right in our assumptions! Too many have good intentions, but have not asked God what he thinks about it (cf. Rom. 10:1-3). They too may be as shocked as those in Matthew 7:21-23. In religious matters, we cannot afford to act on "good intentions," and assume the results will be good, even if others are equally convinced! We need, in-stead, to check into all the facts (via the Bible), and make sure we are right before we proceed. Assumptions do not make "good intentions" right regardless!
"... we cannot afford to act
Guardian of Truth XXXVII: 9, p. 9