While holding meetings in a small village, two young men were calling on folk with the hope of encouraging further attendance. Included in their calls was a Mr. M. who had attended a number of meetings. Wondering how much of the Word he was taking in, they conversed on things in general, then soon came to the subject of God’s salvation. Upon pressing home the solemn fact of sin and the need of the new birth, Mr. M. stoutly refused to agree that he was a sinner. Such terms may apply to certain individuals, but he was a clean-living citizen and could never be justly called a sinner. Considerable time was spent attempting to prove from the Scriptures the fact that “all have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rom 22-23): that only sinners saved by the grace of God would be in heaven (Eph 2:8). Also, that “The Son of Man came to seek and to save that which was lost” (Luke 19:1). However, all seemed to be in vain, as Mr. M. continued to justify himself regardless of the Word.
A sudden change in the conversation took place when Mrs. M. who had been a silent listener, said “Remember the chicken?” What had the chicken to do with the conversation. Well they hardly knew until Mr. M. with a grin said ‘ “Yes, I guess I am not what I would like you to think me to be.” He then told them of the time, as a young lad when very little entertainment was available for the young, he had been given a sling shot. This to him was a very special treasure, therefore, he wanted to see how well he could aim at all that might come in the way of it. One of the father’s hens happened to wander into his path, so taking aim he hit and killed the hen. How was he going to answer to his father for this act? Suddenly the thought came to him, catch the hen’s head in the fence and father will think this was the means of its death. This idea worked. Father could not understand how a hen could be so foolish, never guessing that his son was responsible for it. However, this cover-up seemed to trouble the dear man, even now in his old age.
Whether or not the truth was even made known to the father, it was recorded in Heaven as well as other wrong deeds. The visitors were well able to prove now, not only from Scripture, but by the deed itself that sin disturbs the peace. The conscience was troubled over covered sins, yet there is nothing covered but shall be revealed (Luke 12:2).
Mrs. M. who had recently found out her true condition, knew well that her good husband was like herself, who had sinned against a Holy God, and needed forgiveness to be found only in the precious blood, for the blood of Jesus Christ God’s Son cleanseth us from all sin (1 John 1:7).
How often the words of Proverbs 20:6, “Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness” is met with, and only when honesty of heart is known, will true repentance be seen, and a willingness to claim as a free gift eternal salvation. We may deceive men but never the allseeing eye of God for “God will bring every work into judgment, whether it be good or evil” (Eccl. 12:14). Face it today as “Now is the accepted time, behold now is the day of Salvation” (1 Cor 6:2).