If We Can’t Walk On Water…!


I’ve always been a strong believer that there is no good that comes from being in improper places even if our intentions are honorable. I remember one church friend who rationalized that since Christ associated with the sinners that it meant that we should do the same. Let me relate to you a story that was told at an insurance conference that I attended in the summer of 1985. The keynote speaker at the conference was none other than the late George Steinbrenner, owner of the New York Yankees baseball team. Mr Steinbrenner related this story to us.

“The first year I bought the Yankees I held a team meeting where I outlined the rules for the ball players. During the meeting I stated that I would not allow long hair on the club because I didn’t think it was in accord with the dignity of being a “Yankee”. Lou Pinella, (a star outfielder), raised his hand and said “Mr. Steinbrenner, Jesus Christ had long hair. How come we can’t?” I told Lou to come up to the front of the room, which he did. I put my arm around him and took him over to a big picture window that overlooked a complex that included an Olympic size pool. I pointed to that pool and said to him, “Lou, when you can walk across that pool you can wear your hair long, now sit down!”.

I don’t know if the story that George Steinbrenner told us that day was true or not. However, I never forgot the lesson. The friend who rationalized that he should socialize with the “sinners” in sinful places opened himself up to the enticing of Satan. Sadly, he found out that he couldn’t walk on water, as did the Savior.  Socializing in the “sinners den” soon overcame him and he became like those he chose to associate with and began a lifestyle of sinful behavior and all the consequences that were tied to it.

I believe that we are here to associate and help all we come into contact with, saints and sinners. However, I have found that this association can be done without having to put ourselves in harm’s way. I have never publicly condemned anyone for their behavior but have tried to live a life that might be able to uplift them,  and lead them to want to receive the blessings that come to followers of Christ. We can bless the lives of others by reaching out and lifting them out of places where the spirit doesn’t dwell to places where the influence of the Holy Ghost is prevalent. Surely effort is required but listening to the prompting of the Holy Ghost is vital in our preaching and teaching of the restored gospel. Let us stand in holy places and also reach out to those who so desperately need the influence of the gospel in their lives. But, unless we can ‘walk on water’,  by going to unholy places no matter our intent, we might find ourselves drowning in the world’s cesspool of sin.

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