1. Being guests is something our kids don't seem to know an awful lot about! I've heard reports time & time again that they have done the same things in other people's homes—tried to tell them off & lecture them! It'd be the same as doing it in your own parents' home. You can sweetly in love deliver your soul & try to give them the Message, but you don't really tell your parents off in their own home! It's their house, it's their family, it's their life—they can do what they please with it! If they want to go to Hell, they can go to Hell!
2. It's only your business to sweetly admonish them one time‚ & that's it! Then they know where you stand & what you believe. You don't have to say another word to those parents, they know what you stand for! They'll be under conviction & feel guilty all the time you're around, just the fact that you're there & what you stand for, without you ever having to say a word! And they will probably appreciate it even more if you don't say anything, if you don't preach at them!
3. I scolded kids about this as far back as the Light Club! I said, "For God's sake, when you go home for Thanksgiving or Christmas, be sweet, show a lot of love, but don't preach at them! They already know who you are & what you stand for—you don't have to tell them! You don't have to preach at them! Your very presence there will be enough of a sermon! Better yet, your love & sweetness & sample & consideration!
4. "Help with the dishes, vacuum the floors, show what a change has come over you!—That you're not the selfish little brat you used to be who never gave a damn about your parents or what they did, or if anything was happening right or not! Show that you're really different! Go in & be a help for a change! Show that you're concerned about them & you love them! Help with the cooking, help with the dishes, help with the house–cleaning, make your own bed, straighten things up & show that you are absolutely a different person!
5. "They'll be absolutely dumbfounded at the change that's in you! Just the way you live will be enough of a sermon without having to self-righteously preach at them Bible Prophecy & the Endtime & the Judgement!" I really had to sock it to those boys at the Club when we sent them home at Christmas & Thanksgiving!—But we got some good results out of it! You just do not preach at people when you're guests in their own home, but you can very lovingly & gently just suggest a thing.
6. When I was an evangelist & a preacher & a guest in a home, so often the man is represented by the wife as some kind of beast or the ungodly monster, the horrible sinner & everything, & these little super–self-righteous sanctimonious pious women invite you home for dinner to try to get their "monster" converted!—And the man would show more common sense & consideration than even the woman! She was constantly preaching at him and digging at him right in front of me! Now what do you think that would do to a man?—Needling him about his sins and his habits etc., deliberately trying to embarrass him right in front of the preacher! The man sometimes would be more sensible & polite than she was!
7. Quite often he would light a cigarette & suddenly remember, "Oh, the preacher's here!" He would sincerely apologise & say‚ "Do you mind if I smoke?" I'd say, "No! Not at all, it doesn't bother me!" Did you get that? Do you get the sermon? I don't have to say, "It's only killing you—it's your funeral." I just say‚ "It doesn't bother me!"—And they get the point right away! Sometimes they go ahead & smoke, sometimes they don't. But that was all you had to say.
8. You just simply cannot lecture people in their own houses! You shouldn't even lecture your own parents in their own home! You can beseech them, you can plead with them, you can try to persuade them sweetly, kindly, lovingly & humbly, but you cannot tell people what to do in their own house!
9. I want to tell you something else you need to know, it was when Mother Eve started telling me off in my own house—not only before my own children, but even before guests, sassing me, rebuking me, telling me what to do & what not to do to deliberately embarrass & humiliate me before others, sometimes even strangers—that she finished herself off then & there for me! Even if she were right, it was not her place to rebuke her husband before others! She sassed me before some kids once & even struck me, & that was the last time she ever did it, because I wasn't around to slap any more!
10. You have to give honour to whom honour is due, & a host is to be honoured & respected! What he does in his own house is really none of your business or mine! The only thing we can do is what I told Faith, to very gently chide him about it & very sweetly tell him that, "My father doesn't like drinking, & he wouldn't like it if he knew you were drinking over here while I'm here. And if you do drink‚ I won't be able to stay here or keep coming." But she had to break this news to him very, very gently.
11. You certainly don't give orders to a host when you are a guest in his own house! So Stephen, you have offended the host, and he quite obviously didn't like it!—Regardless of the good intentions you had and the good motive that you had! I'm sure you thought you were doing the right thing and trying to fulfil orders from me, but if it offended him, then there's no excuse for it! If it offended him, then it's not your place to say anything about it or say any more about it!
12. Once you've said anything, once you've even indicated surprise, if you just raised your eyebrows when you saw him go to the cupboard, that would have been enough! You didn't have to make it open before guests! Who do you think is the boss of the situation‚ you or Faith? Faith is your elder in the Lord! She was in charge! It's her host & her part, really, & you should have looked to her to take the lead & decide on what to do—not take the bull by the horns yourself & grab the reins & start telling her what to do! It wasn't your place.
13. Having been surprised by his disobedience, you should have looked to her to see what to do, followed her lead, & said nothing more whatsoever! You should have just waited to see what she would do, how she would handle it, because she's really the one who was the invited guest—you just more or less came along. So now you're not going to be able to go back there. You offended your host, & I'm sure you're now an unwelcome guest as a result. If I were you‚ I would not go near there any more until he issues a specific invitation through Faith or the girls & begs you to come back, asks you to come, & not until then.
14. You finished your usefulness! You gave him your sermon, you told him off & washed your hands of the whole affair. You delivered your soul & now you'll have to let them handle it the best they can‚ because what you did was a very unwise thing under the circumstances. I know you were trying to do the right thing & I know you felt your motives were right, your intentions were good, you were even trying to obey orders, but you should have sought the Holy Spirit's leading, number one, & Faith's leading, number two‚ & done nothing except what she & the Lord led you & told you to do! You were feeling like you didn't like the drink & you didn't want to be there anyhow & probably felt like telling him off, so you did!
15. (To Faith:) It's entirely up to you & you'll have to play it as the Lord leads you! I don't have to counsel you on that. You were there & you know the situation—you know it better than I do. He's been very good to us, very friendly & a tremendous help. We could have hardly had a chance to talk to these other men without his help & the use of his home as a gathering place. It's been a tremendous opportunity & you don't want to kill that opportunity & kill the goose that laid the golden egg by insisting, "I want all the eggs now, I demand that you do it now, deliver now! We've waited long enough‚ we can't piddle along with one egg a day!" See?
16. As heavily as he's been drinking, it will take an absolute outright direct miracle of God to deliver him, & unless he's ready to accept Jesus in his heart & really be absolutely converted‚ he's not going to be delivered like that!—Unless as a miracle of prayer or something‚ just as a sign to give him faith. You can expect it if you have the faith for it, but it certainly would be a miracle, because you just don't quit that easy otherwise.
17. I would advise you, Stephen, not to go back over there any more unless he gives you an explicit personal invitation! You have apparently ended your usefulness over there, which is just too bad! Let it simmer down a little bit first. (Faith: Yesterday he was tired because he hadn't gotten his sleep the night before because of our long distance calls coming in.) He was pretty fed-up with us anyway, & for you to start telling him off was about the last straw!
18. If you don't take care of those delicate opportunities, you can just close the door and then you no longer have the chance to get through to him at all! It's better to leave the door open and do whatever you can to please and show appreciation and consideration, & certainly never ever as guests tell your host what to do or what not to do & so forth in their own house!—Unless you're prepared to tell them off & leave, never to return, which I have done a few times!
19. You've got to count the cost before you close the door behind you, never to go in again! The only time I have ever done this was when I figured, "This is my last chance & there may never be another chance!" I've gotten up in churches & told off the congregation & preachers & gotten thrown out‚ because I figured I'd never be back anyway & I'd never have another opportunity to do so. But you don't do that to neighbours who live next door & who you're apt to see day after day & need them!
20. How many times have I told you kids‚ never witness to your neighbours!—Not the way our kids witness! You can be a witness to your neighbours who live next door just by your actions, your deeds, your kindness & your consideration. I've always told my family & made it a rule: Never witness to your neighbours!—Not the kind of witnessing our kids do & like Stephen was doing last night, just socking it to them like that!—Just "Love thy neighbour"!
21. Neighbours have to be won by deeds & actions, just by watching your behaviour, because you live beside them day after day. Don't preach to your neighbours or you'll lose them right away, & that's that! Never witness to your neighbours, not the way we witness or the way some of our kids witness. Never preach at your neighbours, in other words! They can watch you & see. They'll be won by what they see, not by what you try to preach at them! That's the main reason.
22. The other reason is, you need to keep your neighbours as friends! You really need to keep your neighbours as friends if you never say one word of witness or preaching at all! It's more important for your wider work outside of your little neighbourhood, to keep your own personal neighbours as friends. One offense like this to one neighbour could turn so many people against you that it would make you very unpopular here, to where you might even have to leave! If they spread the word, "Well, they were telling us off & telling us not to drink in our house!"—These people are very, very touchy about their homes & their hospitality!
23. A man's house is his castle & nobody has a right to tell him anything in his own house! I know if the people here are anything like the Spanish‚ & they are‚ a man considers his home the most private thing next to his wife—totally private—& will never invite you to his home unless you are the most intimate kind of a guest!—Unless he's almost ready to share his wife with you! He loves you so much that you're really a very well-beloved friend. He seldom ever invites anybody except the most intimate friends to his home. So to be invited to their homes is a great honour & a privilege. It means, "You are my very best friends!" Then to turn around & not appreciate that invitation by dishonouring him in his own home when he has honoured you by being his guest there, this is a slap in the face & an actual insult!
24. Why didn't you look to Faith for her leading, Son? She's your elder in the Lord! Ho & Faith have been in charge of this mission & you're virtually their guest! I don't really care to get too involved in the details of it, it's their pioneer project & always has been from the beginning, you & Mother Eve came along as sort of an afterthought! We even debated as to the wisdom of letting you folks come at all‚ knowing how unwise both of you can sometimes be. But we thought it was necessary for Mother to be here if I was going to be here.
25. We don't want to be sorry you came‚ but both of you have been pretty guilty of lack of wisdom in the past. You've been a tremendous help here & we love you‚ but this is the one score on which I've had to lecture you time & again, about your great zeal, but not having the wisdom of God thereof. You have a zeal, but you lack a lot of wisdom.—Rom.10:2. If you'd been in the right spirit & looked in the right place for your guidance last night‚ to Faith as well as to the Lord, I don't believe you would have made that mistake. But now it's made.
26. One of our hosts has been injured, offended & hurt, in fact, even insulted in his own house! To have said such things & talked like that to him in his own house when you were nothing but a guest is an insult! You had no right to tell him what to do & what not to do. Having done that, the only thing you can do now is stay away, unless he invites you back.
27. And if he ever invites you back, the first thing you have got to do when you get there is apologise profusely for the way you acted the last time you were there, because you had no business to talk to him at all about his personal habits. Tell him that you're very sorry! He knows where you stand, he knew what the rules were, you don't have to tell him any more. He knew he did it. He'd had a very, very hard day, he probably figured he just couldn't make it without a little drink. I've had a few days like that myself!
28. Lord, you know all about it & we just ask Thee to smooth the situation over somehow, if possible. Please help these folks to learn a little wisdom, Lord, real love‚ & not such self-righteousness! Help them to learn what real love is, Lord. Real love is humility, they're one & the same. Humility is love & love is humility, there's really no difference. If their love is not humble, very humble & real humility‚ then it's not real love—it's a self-righteous attitude of holier-than-thou condemnation which is not love.
29. Help us, Lord, to be humble! Keep us humble, keep us sweet & keep us loving, to show people by our example & our sample, Lord!—Not just by our preaching at them, but in loving them. Forgive Stephen for this mistake, Lord, & help him to repent of it.—And if he ever gets a chance, Lord, help him to apologise for it, honestly & truly!—Not any phoney apology, but to show he's really sorry.
30. Help us, Lord, to some day come to a knowledge!—Not to be "ever learning & never coming to a knowledge" (2Tim.3:7), always having to be lectured & be told again & again because of our own wilfulness & stubbornness & unwillingness to think & pray before we act‚ & look before we leap, squeeze before we jerk, stop‚ look & listen! Help us, Lord, in Jesus' name! Help him to forgive us, Lord! Bless them now as they try & make amends & somehow heal these wounds in this situation which was made so bad last night by foolishness & lack of wisdom.
31. Lack of wisdom is foolishness! If we're not wise, Lord, we're fools! If we don't follow Thy leading, if we don't follow Thy wisdom, Lord, we are fools! Help us, O God, to follow You, in Jesus' name! For God's sake, follow God & your leaders! Don't take things into your own hands unless you're all by yourselves & alone & you've got to take the lead.
32. Son, you must learn respect for your elders in the Lord! This is something that has caused us trouble before back in London & other places, & it's usually your zeal which causes it. You have a zeal of Godliness but without the wisdom that you need.
33. Your actions came at the wrong time when it was really bad last night & have really caused a serious problem—& we cannot afford to create problems like that in this very ticklish situation! I would sooner send you home than have you not under control—self-control & the Lord's control & the control of your leadership! I'd sooner send you home if you can't follow the leader & the Lord. I don't know how many times I have to tell you folks these things—Letters, stories & whatnot!
34. This idea of, "I thought I did the right thing, I thought I did my best"—your best is not good enough! Your best is to call on me, as the little story goes! If you're not the leader, your best is to call on your leaders & ask them what to do! Your best is to ask the leaders & look to them for guidance. Don't take the reins in your own hands & ride away—then you're a runaway! Amen? Amen, Lord, we're all in Thy hands! Help us to have more sense, more common sense, Lord, & more love‚ humility & wisdom, in Jesus' name!
35. You don't dare get mad to their faces when they're your hosts! That's what is called diplomacy & tact! Diplomats are famous for being able to take it with a smile & keep sweet, even when they're being insulted & bawled-out by other people, because usually they're guests of other countries.
36. O, Lord Jesus, help us to know what it is to be humble! I think maybe that's one reason the Lord made me love women so much & have so many of them, because lovemaking really keeps you humble! Being married is a very humiliating business! I have nothing to brag about. I can't even brag about your loving me, I don't know why you love me so‚ except it's the Lord.—But it keeps me humble anyway because they all know I love'm & need'm. Amen? PTL! See, Stephen‚ you inspired a MO Letter!
DO YOU RESPECT YOUR HOSTS & NEIGHBOURS?