"Drop one, drop two," he said. Then he turned around and looked. Number two was placed in a "keep" pile, while number one was discarded across the room. Then he picked up two more and did it again. Before long he had two piles, each half the size of the one he began with. Then he started the process all over again with the "keep" pile, adding yet more to the discard pile and leaving a smaller "keep" pile. He did this several times until he had finally whittled it down to two buddies. When he finished, he looked at the buddy who had "won" the game—the final "drop two" buddy. He was not entirely pleased, so he gathered all the buddies from both piles together and started over again.
This time, instead of carrying the buddies behind his back where, I suppose, he couldn't always remember which hand held what, he carried them in front of him. He could see exactly who he was dropping when. Occasionally he even hesitated before deciding which to drop first, the buddy which would then be discarded altogether. Because he could see what he was doing, he was happy with the end result, which was Lucky the Tiger, his favorite. Obviously, he had rigged the game.
I began thinking about how he had made his choices. If one was his brother's buddy and the other was his, his brother's was the first to go to the discard pile. If one were a newer buddy, and the other an old favorite, the newer one fell victim to "Drop one." Once he had culled it down to only his old favorites, life became a little more difficult. In fact, the third time through the game, Leo the blankie actually displaced Lucky the Tiger.
Now let's put feet on this little story. Do we ever do the same thing? Yes, we adults have been known to determine Truth not by what the scripture says but by who says it. Did Brother Big Name Preacher say this, or some poor old nobody you never heard of? Did my best friend in the congregation take this side and the guy I can hardly tolerate take the other? Is this the view my blood family takes while someone I am not related to takes that one?
Or maybe we make our choices based on how it affects us. Would this view mean I need to admit wrong and change my life and that other one leave me to live as I want to? Would it mean that my parents died in sin and I just can't bear to think such a thing? Would it mean I need to disfellowship my good friends? Would it mean my children are no longer considered faithful Christians, so I just won't consider the possibility that this scripture actually means that at all. I've known more than one preacher whose views on divorce and remarriage changed when family was suddenly involved. Honestly considering the scriptures with rational, logical thought had nothing to do with it.
Our first allegiance is supposed to be to God and His revealed Word, not family, not best friends, not famous people or those with more wealth or status. We are not four years old. We are supposed to have matured enough to make the hard decisions regardless the fallout. "Drop one, drop two" is not a meaningless game with God. He watches who and what you drop and why. He knows how to play the game too, and He will not let His love for sinners influence His decisions about who to drop first if they refuse the Truth.
Whoever loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me, and whoever loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. (Matt 10:37)
If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:26)