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My Second-Best Advice: Say ‘Nope, Nope’ And Run Away


One morning, I was eating breakfast before going to work when the phone rang. That was weird, and it got weirder. I picked up the phone, and someone asked me to cancel my plans for the day, and go to court. The other person was pleading, and really wanted my help.

When I say “go to court” I really mean that big building where scary things happen. I almost said no, but I decided to help my friend. The person on the phone was a woman that I knew. She was a Christian, like me, and she wanted me to testify for her in court.

I phoned my boss and explained that I would be late for work.

There is a history before the breakfast phone call. I had some connections with some people, a couple, and I probably had a claim for about fifty thousand dollars. The main reason was my part ownership of some real estate; a shabby little house that they rented out until they could sell it for a profit. My investment was mostly unpaid work and part ownership.

The investor couple had good jobs, and drove expensive cars, and they were terrible people to do business with. I should have known better. They lived together and were married to other people, and both had once been Christians who went to church every Sunday. They met somewhere and found a different direction, and I tried to get away, with some of my money.

That’s how I met some other people, mostly Christians. The woman who phoned was the wife of the man in the power couple, and he was suing her for custody of the children. He was paying large amounts of money for child support and that was probably his motivation for taking the children. I was asked to testify in court about how unfit the power couple was.

When I got to the court, I met a large support group around the mother; we were all there to testify and support her. I hated every part of this business, and I was relieved when the lawyers and the judge conferred and sent us all home. The issue of child custody never came up again, and I think the mother won without any courtroom drama.

That power couple were terrible people, in my opinion, but I don’t want to get revenge now by telling you more bad things about them. Let me tell you some good things about me.

Before the court date, I tried to find a resolution to my dispute, and I was frustrated. One day I met a Christian man, while I was traveling. We were strangers, but brothers in Jesus. Some Christians have a spiritual gift of discernment, and his question was “What’s wrong?” I trusted him and told him my story, and I was disappointed by his advice; “Say ‘Nope, Nope’ and run away.” Those are my words, he actually explained in detail how I should stay away from bad behavior that I didn’t like: Don’t do those things, Don’t be close when they happen, Don’t fight them. As a Christian, I was living out my decision to follow Jesus, and it was wrong for me to take time from my Christian life to swim in a moral sewer.

That’s the second-best advice I ever received.

The instructions for Christians are clear: “But now I am writing to you that you must not associate with anyone who claims to be a brother or sister but is sexually immoral or greedy, an idolater or slanderer, a drunkard or swindler. Do not even eat with such people.” (1 Corinthians 5:11)

Run away.

A few weeks later, I went to a real-estate lawyer’s office and signed some papers. The lawyer, their lawyer, advised me to take the papers to my own lawyer before I signed away my rights, but I signed the papers quickly. I gave up any claim for money and property and walked away, a free man. That was not the end for me, I was called to court that one time, but eventually I lost contact with all those people.

I know now, that power couple split up, and they had legal problems, and any claim that I had was lost in their bad business dealings. Looking back, walking away was the wisest choice for me.

That was my second-best choice.

My number one choice was to have a place to run to. Earlier in my life, I made a decision to follow Jesus. That was supposed to be important, and that was where I belonged, in my spiritual home. My Christian brother gave me the second-best advice, and he was correct because of my best choice. I had somewhere else to be.

Since then, my life has been good, and I have not lacked for any material thing, employment or money to pay my bills. My spiritual home, with God, is a comfortable place.

I hope you have found this same truth.

Say ‘Nope Nope’ and run home.

Repay no one evil for evil, but give thought to do what is honorable in the sight of all. If possible, so far as it depends on you, live peaceably with all. Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.” To the contrary, “if your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.” Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

Romans 12:17-21

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