“Come to a sober and right mind, and sin no more; for some people have no knowledge of God. I say this to your shame.” (1 Corinthians 15:34)
My high-school self was sitting in front of the television one evening watching an episode of M*A*S*H. Dr. Hawkeye Pierce and Father Mulcahy were having a heated argument in the surgical tent. In front of everyone Hawkeye belittled Father Mulcahy for being in the way during surgery. After both were done and alone together, they tried to clear the air. Hawkeye apologized and said, “It’s just that when I am in surgery I am responsible for a life.” Father Mulcahy responded, “When I am in surgery I am responsible for a soul!” It reaffirmed my desire to become a minister.
This 1 Corinthians passage haunts me. In moments when I’ve not set a good example, people can use that as an excuse to deny their faith in God. Any number of people are just looking for an excuse to give up on their faith. It is our responsibility to make it hard for them to give up. It is our call to make our faith in God so beneficial and meaningful that they cannot give up, because they want what we have from God.
When our actions impede someone else's ability to have faith, we shame ourselves before God. Whether or not you are a professional minister, each Christian is called to set an example, so others will want to be part of the faith. Each one of us, like Father Mulcahy, is called to be “responsible for a soul.”
Today, think about the people who look up to you. What do they see when they look at you? Do they see your faith? Do you give them hope and encouragement? We have a tough job. We, people of faith, are the ones who are responsible and care for the soul. It requires sacrifice from time-to-time. Perhaps you are the designated driver, rather than the one drinking. Maybe you are the parent who has all the kids at your house, even when you are bone tired. You might be the adult who chaperones the Middle School mission trip, because it provides unique opportunities to nurture their faith. Pray for God to use you to bring Divine knowledge to others. Be the Father Mulcahy to those around you!