Pastor’s Friday Comments (11.13.20)

“The evil that men do lives after them; the good is oft interred with their bones.”  William Shakespeare

This might be a good time to survey the collective damage that has been done to our culture and our people by the vitriol, duplicity, disregard for morality, and intentional division that have been part of our national experience for many years now. It is also a critical time to remember that the influence of the people to whom we personally relate – parents, teachers, co-workers, neighbors, fellow believers – is far greater than that of any politician or of all public figures put together. 

So, in the words of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, teach your children well – and know they love you.  And pray they don’t mess it up the way we have. 

You know the things you should be teaching already, but they bear repeating in our troubled age. And for those of us who are Christians, they are part of the conduct that Christ expects of his disciples. Sad to have to write them down, but here is a partial list of reminders:

Character matters. 

Integrity is a consistency between what you say and how you act, and if you don’t have integrity you shouldn’t try to lead anyone.

Honesty really is the best policy.

Every individual deserves to be treated with respect. (The Christian’s way of saying this is, every individual is a person of worth, created in the image of God.) No one is more deserving of respect because of their power or influence; no one is less deserving because of their poverty, ethnicity, or lack of prominence.

Making fun of anyone for something they cannot control is wrong. Giving people nicknames in an attempt to demean them is both juvenile and sad.

No one should be treated as an object, placed before you for your pleasure.

To the fullest extent that it is in your power, bring people together, even if it might be in your own immediate interest to push them apart.

Demonstrations of overt faith and religious objects are not props. If you choose to practice religion, keep in mind the admonition of Jesus not to do it so other people can be impressed.

Recognize and accept that you are not the center of the universe. If you are a follower of Jesus and pay attention to what he taught, you will see that humility and servanthood are to be your way of life. 

Own up to your mistakes. Seeking forgiveness is a sign of strength, not weakness.

No one – I mean no one – wants to hear you whine.

“The earth is the Lord’s and everything in it” (Psalm 24:1). We’re just stewards and we have the responsibility of leaving an inhabitable planet for the next generation. Take care of the earth.

Don’t assume that any individual is responsible for cultural decline. Usually the person out front is the symptom, not the disease.

The only person you can truly control is you, but if you do that well, others will notice. It can make a difference. If that path was good enough for Jesus, it should be good enough for us.