I have had the sorrowful experience lately to be around three people who have had to endure some very heartbreaking and earth shattering news. Two of the individuals received very similar news and the third lost a very close relative. I have been able to observe their overall demeanor and would like to make a few observations about how they handled it. For background, all three of the individuals grew up in a traditional Southern Baptist environment and had made professions of faith in Jesus as children. They all studied religion in college and had at one time or another felt led into the ministry. One of my friends believes in God, one probably believes but you could never know it, and the third says that God is a myth.
My first friend has found out just recently one of their parents died. In speaking to my friend and offering condolences their demeanor can only be described as casual and unconcerned. Our close circle of friends are heartbroken for our friend and have expressed sorrow at the passing of their parent, but they just explained that they were not that close and it is what it is. They seemed more annoyed with the loose ends needing too be tied up.
My second friend learned recently that their spouse does not love them anymore. Their spouse asked for a divorce after announcing a few months earlier they were unhappy, and they were just tired of being unhappy all the time. They also explained how they have secretly developed an emotional attachment to a co-worker and feel this other person is now their best friend ever. Mind you just a few years earlier they said the same thing about my friend. My friend is full of sadness, anger, rage, and confusion. Not knowing which way to go or what to do now, they only know that their world has just turned upside down and it is impossible to fix the problem. All of the friends in this friends circle are outraged and want to seek vengeance on their behalf.
My third friend has learned recently their spouse has had an extramarital affair. The sordid details of the affair came not through direct revelation or discovery, but through rumors that all of their friends had gathered and shared. When my friend and their spouse were finally coming clean about the affair, the friends started to intervene and make comments not directly at the situation, but it was obvious these were veiled attempts to get a steamy response. My friend has handled this situation with great dignity and grace. The spouse has admitted to wrongdoing and my friend has forgiven them and vowed to make their marriage work. When speaking to those closest to this friend you can hear the outrage and anger in their voices. They feel that the spouse should pay dearly for the sin, but my friend asks them please leave us be and let us rebuild our marriage.
Be a sport tell me which one believes in God.