As a disciple of Jesus Christ, your great responsibility is to be a friend of the bridegroom, following the example set by John the Baptist: “The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him” (John 3:29). The bridegroom’s friend never takes the central role away from Jesus or becomes a necessity to another person’s soul. If you find, in your relationships with others, that you have stolen the spotlight away from Christ, then you know that you are out of God’s established order for his disciples. You’ll know your influence over others has taken the right direction when you see their souls gripped by the claims of Jesus Christ.

Never interfere when another person’s soul has been gripped by Christ. However painful it may appear to you from the outside, pray that the pain grows ten times stronger, until there is no power on earth or in hell that can keep that soul away from the Lord. You may often see Jesus Christ wreck a life before he saves it. Never mind what havoc the bridegroom causes, what crumblings of health and wealth. Rejoice with divine hilarity when his voice is heard.

Over and over again, we turn ourselves into amateur providences, trying to prevent suffering by stopping God. In the end, our sympathy costs other people dearly. One day, they’ll accuse us of being thieves, of stealing their affections away from their bridegroom and causing them to lose their vision of him. We must beware of rejoicing with a soul in the wrong thing, but we must make sure to rejoice in the right thing. The bridegroom’s friend “is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom’s voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. He must become greater; I must become less” (John 3:29–30). John the Baptist is describing the absolute effacement of the disciple; he will never be thought of again. But he acknowledges this with joy, not sadness.

Wisdom from Oswald

The great point of Abraham’s faith in God was that he was prepared to do anything for God.
Not Knowing Whither