I do not like him and do you know why? Because I see in him what I do not like in me. Arghh!! He isn't real! He is a fictitious character in a fictional book....and yet I know him well. Why can I identify with all the bad guys in Pilgrim's Progress? What is that? Christian and Faithful cannot go far on their journey at all without coming across another unseemly person. Talkative is one of the unseemliest. He isn't particularly evil...at least not overtly. He is more like an average guy or girl you might know...with no depth to his or her life. Much knowledge, little application.
Everything he says sounds right and good. He makes for a friendly companion - at least for a little while. Then you might discover that he is shallow...a hollow man...a shadow of empty living. And so I examine me again.
I know about esteeming others more highly than myself....Do I do that, Lord?
I know that the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil...Do I love money, Lord?
I know that sharing the gospel is what we are called to do...Do I tell others, Lord?
I know that we are to honor our parents...Am I honoring my mom, Lord? In kindness?
I know we are to redeem the time...How much time am I wasting on selfish matters, Lord?
Well I could go on and on, but I will spare us both the knife of conviction I am feeling in my heart. Talkative speaks to Faithful about grace, the insufficiency of our works, the righteousness of Christ. He knows hundreds of scriptures by heart, but his hypocritical life has brought him shame back home with those that know him best. Do those that know you best, see Christ in you? Do they see you following your beliefs?
When Faithful questions Talkative about whether or not his life and conversation match what he says, he blushes and cannot answer. When Faithful confronts him about how he has led many down a wrong path because of his "religion", he simply refuses to talk any further and says goodbye.
O Lord, was I too cross with my children, today? Was my tone harsh? Did I spend money unwisely today? Did I speak of You when I had the chance? Did I spend this day well...this hour...this minute?
Convict me, with Your loving, gentle Spirit. Help me redeem the time You give me...for Your glory alone.