God leads us to him via our interests, because grace perfects nature. And that means that even if I were able to give every thing under heaven its due importance, my own life would still emphasize certain things over others. Let’s assume* that I have reached that degree of sainthood that I am able to do this. Thus, I know that I love the object of my interest for Christ’s sake:
Other folks, however, can’t see into my heart. What they see is this:
Birds of a feather flock together, naturally, and so when it comes to my particular interests in the faith, I’m going to tend to look for and hang out with other people who look like me:
And because I like them, I may tend to give them the benefit of the doubt, and assume that they have it all together:
But of course, I don’t know that for sure. And if they are in a different place than I expect them to be, they can lead me quite far astray. Do they love the poor for the sake of Christ, or do they love Christ for the sake of the poor? But probably they are OK.
But then there are those other people in the church…the ones who don’t seem to share my interests. The ones who are always talking about issues that I just can’t get exercised about. You know, the ones I suspect of being doctrinally incorrect.
Now, really, what am I supposed to do with people like this? They don’t use the same words as I do, and they don’t do the same things that I do, and they talk about things that don’t interest me all that much. How am I supposed to be sure that they haven’t run off of the rails?
Gosh, I might have to talk to them, get to know them a little, and find out what they really think. Maybe I’d discover that everything’s quite all right.
Or I could just go on assuming the worst…
* For the sake of argument. You understand.