Leonard, Lovett, PhD.
Unfortunately terrorism has dictated the way we function daily in using our eyes as roving monitors in this volatile societal environment. We are admonished to watch everything and especially when something doesn’t appear to look right in order, we are told to say something. When a piece of luggage is found in an airport with no one claiming ownership, security will immediately confiscate same in the interest of safety for other passengers. When health care professionals and persons in the pharmaceutical industry lie about Medicare clients and the cost of medicine in fake reports we all suffer negative consequences. It is not uncommon for persons to cheat on their taxes and forge academic transcripts as well as lie in sports competition it is viewed as normal behavior.
People tend not to expect the truth when lies become the order of the day. National polls show that leaders in the private and public sector have consistently lied to citizens, a word from God is in order. The context of the Commandment is simply respect for truthfulness. During my life cycle I have encountered liars of all kind. I have encountered pathological addictive liars, purveyors of loving nice lies and persons who view lying as a “way of life.” We will soon discover that lying may be the root cause of chaos and deception on display within the Oval Office of this nation.
God has a special hatred for deception which is found at the heart of all lies. Everyone suffers loss when lies are generated. It is possible to err without lying and lie without erring. “The heart is desperately wicked, who can know it? “Jeremiah 17:9. When we deliberately and intentionally mask the mind from reality and pretend that things are in fact what they really are not, we are lying. When a spouse gives lame excuses for strange motel charges on the credit card mysterious calls on the mobile phone and the truth cannot be covered any further, we are guilty of deception and our behavior must be judged on intent. When lying becomes proportional and a “way of life” enlarged by steroids it is time for joint action from the Faith Community. Lying by silence is just as damaging as engaging in the process of full disclosure. We are attempting to say “here am I” without genuinely saying “woe is me.”
The Conservative leaders who were on display in the Oval Office laying hands on the president need to be admonished that authentic prayer governs conduct and that conduct makes character. Conduct is what we do and character is who we are. Character is the life unseen hidden within yet evidenced by that which is seen. Conduct is external seen from without; character is internal…operating from within… Character is the state of the heart, conduct its outward expression. Character is the root of the tree…conduct the fruit it bears. Prayer helps to establish character and fashion conduct. (the brief commentary on character and conduct was adapted from Edward McKendree Bounds book, The Necessity of Prayer. E.M. Bounds departed this life in 1913.
My task is not to judge or pass sentence on anyone. I am not a surgeon, psychiatrist or a partisan writer. However, I am prepared to deliver a “word from the Lord.” It would not have been inappropriate to have used that time in the Oval Office to call for a time of repentance. The ancient script admonishes us that “we all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory.” Dr. William Barber, the justice fighter from North Carolina wrote a scathing letter to the group attempting to link the act of prayer to the doing of justice to the poor marginalized people of this nation who will be hurt by the mishandling of healthcare by Congressional leaders and the president. Since character is the state of the heart and conduct its outward expression, what an opportunity do what God has called us to be…salt and light.
As a mineral sodium chloride is the most common salt derivative used for the seasoning of food. A preservative is needed for this nation. Light is used not only to penetrate the darkness but to guide people to the light. What an opportunity to “be” Christian witness during a life threatening National crisis. Remember it was not the visible tip of the iceberg that sunk the Titanic. In chaotic times we can trust the faithfulness of God.
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