Modern Day Disciples

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Parental example is the primary standard by which young children measure acceptable behavior. One of the values we strive to transfer to our young people is our belief in God (see Transferring Values). However, sometimes we perceive our faith as weak and wonder what kind of example we are actually setting.

Here is PROOF that we are capable of great faith!

I used to think that folks who anchored their lives on God’s promises were somehow supernatural in themselves. That walking by faith – believing that God’s Word will come to pass – required great strength. When we read about how God moved a mountain in someone’s life, how they were healed, how a negative situation was transformed into a great victory, we sometimes think, “Wow, I will never have that kind of faith.”

But the other day I realized that although these events are wonderful, nothing takes more faith than driving in rush hour traffic. Think about it. Here you are, strapped to the interior of a machine filled with explosive fuel, with spark plugs firing under the hood, driving amid all the crazies of the world.

Careening by you at the speed of light, on the right, is a car filled with 16 year-old boys who are mesmerized by the beat from their CD and by the woman in the car to your left. As for the single beauty on your left, she is busy multitasking with her lipstick in the mirror, her pink cell phone, a mocha java latte, and the car of teenage boys. Forget about Grandpa talking to his dog, the windowless van weaving in and out of traffic, or the harried mother trying to stop the fighting in the back seat. Anyone in their right mind will admit that this exercise alone proves that the angels of the Lord are encamped round about us.

We read about how the disciples rowed out into the deep and met with high waves, and we think that their faith is unattainable. Yet, I believe that each day we more than measure up. Each time we slip behind the wheel and turn on the ignition, we exercise remarkable faith. We honestly believe that we will arrive safely at our destination even though, statistically speaking, it is not a logical conclusion.

Each day we believe as the disciples did, that we will get to the other side. We have faith – supernatural faith – faith that moves mountains, and we take it out for a spin every day. Knowing this, let us now go forth and do great things.

“If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed … nothing shall be impossible unto you.”

Matthew, Chapter 17: Verse 20

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A Cultural Shift

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Years ago, children were taught to tell the truth. When a mis-deed occurred they took responsibility, prepared for the consequences, and hesitantly reported the facts as they happened.

Today, speaking the truth is often considered inappropriate. Consider the following:

I have a friend who is a nurse. This morning she shared that she was continually criticized for having “no filter.” She actually felt it necessary to defend what she described as “her tendency to tell the truth.” The real question is, “Who would want a nurse who didn’t tell the truth?”

This cultural shift toward negatively labeling a truth teller – marking them as a person with “no filter” presents to our children a character model filled with compromise. Right and wrong are neither fluid nor negotiable. Either an event happened or it didn’t. Either something is the truth or it is a lie. There should be no confusion.

Having “no filter” used to mean that the person was unskilled in a social situation and could not determine what was an appropriate response in a certain circumstance. But today, the term is used in a demeaning way, judging a person harshly for speaking truth.

A teacher friend of mine recently posted this on Facebook:

“One of the biggest rules I have in class: “Be honest!” I can work with that …would much rather a kid mess up, admit it, and we come up with a solution. Teaching kids to overcome is paramount in life!!!”

If we want our young people to grow up respecting what is right and authentic, then perhaps we should explain to them that, in spite of what the world would say, there is no higher use of language than to speak … the truth.

Note: For more information on children and lying, read our article entitled “Embroidered Truth.
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