“I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.”
-Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
Events of this past year like Ferguson remind us of it. This world is far from what it was intended to be. Everyday we are struck with obvious reminders that this world is not our home. It is tainted by sin and the disappointments of injustice. Even our understanding of justice is skewed by sin, and ideological divisions keep us from loving one another as Christ has loved us.
We long for harmony and goodwill among men. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., whose life and work we celebrate on Monday, also longed for that day when his own children and everyone’s children would “not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character.” That day will not ever be fully realized until our Lord returns and establishes a new heaven and a new earth when all will be as it was intended to be. But in the meantime,
“Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not men…” Eph. 6:7
“If you are going to achieve excellence in big things, you develop the habit in little matters. Excellence is not an exception, it is a prevailing attitude.”
-- Colin Powell
A local automotive mechanic from our church once commented about his industry’s reputation for poor quality work and dishonesty. He acknowledged that it was not without good cause that this reputation developed. That is why he has dedicated himself and his business to excellence and honesty in everything they do.
There is a remarkable prevalence among people in America today to do as little as possible to get by. Little consideration is given for the quality of work being performed or the consequence of sloppy work on others, particularly the consumer. Mediocrity replaces excellence for the sake of expedience, and it is well entrenched in our society.
The Bible teaches a different approach—one that paves the way for true success and happiness. It is found not in getting by with as little as you can, but in doing everything you can with wholehearted excellence. Excellence expresses the character of God and is evident in all of creation. Made in His image, it ought also to characterize our work. For the next couple of weeks, we will explore this virtue called excellence.
Grandparenting can be a lot of fun and a great reward. It can also be filled with more than our share of pain, sorrow and grief. I’ve known both and am in the midst of dealing with great sorrow right now.
Driving to a men’s Bible study the other day, my thoughts were filled with negativity and all that’s wrong in the world. I was soon overwhelmed with feelings of anger and blame. Suddenly, as I pulled up to a stoplight, I looked up to see
For most of us Christmas is over. We have unwrapped all the gifts, sung our Christmas carols, attended Christmas Eve services, and enjoyed our family celebrations. There doesn’t seem to be much else left except to clean up the mess and begin the arduous process of returning unwanted or wrong-sized gifts.
But in some parts of the world as well as many liturgical churches, Christmas Day is only the beginning of the Christmas season. I thought it might be an interesting journey for us to explore the idea of making the Twelve Days of Christmas (not the song, but the Christian celebrations from Christmas to Epiphany) a way of magnifying our Savior above all the other stuff. It seems to me those of us who are not from liturgical churches might benefit from such a journey.