Pastor Brian Gilroy,
High Prairie Church of the Nazarene
Whatever happened to “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you”?
As a society, we seem to have forgotten how to treat one another. For a growing number of individuals that phrase has morphed into, “Do unto others before they do it unto you”.
More and more Canadians are approaching life, faith and ethics the way that a hungry individual approaches a large buffet. They fill their plate with all the eye-pleasing food and neglect to notice if their plate is a balanced healthy meal or an appropriate portion. Having experienced the gluttony and “Me first” attitudes as both a participant and an observer, there were many times that the amount of waste could have filled the empty stomachs of a small village.
In our blind rush to attain all that we believe we deserve or were denied as children, we as parents or other influential adults, are quickly turning over our responsibility as the primary or most important life, faith and ethical adult teacher to other less qualified individuals. In the majority of these cases, we are giving our responsibility in this area over to Hollywood; social media; and our children’s peers.
In the area of living life well, how often are we consistently demonstrating healthy ways to deal with all that life throws at you? How often do we turn to alcohol, drugs, anger, violence or emotional manipulation in an attempt to deal with life’s problems in our own strength?
We need to recapture this lost ground before it is too late. Wake up and taste the coffee, not just smell the coffee. We are allowing our children at an earlier and earlier age to be exposed to ideas that are beyond their level of comprehension.
We are also imprinting upon their young lives inappropriate ways of dealing with life and saying that all is good. We are teaching them that the “art of business: requires them to choose favourites even when we need to have a level playing field.
The only opinion that you are to value in society is the one that will help you achieve your dreams. The truth is that God does not play favourites. Read your Bible and you will see that God hates the neglect of the vulnerable as a means for people to accumulate more wealth or status. God hates the sin that we do but loves the sinner enough to offer forgiveness.
More and more individuals in society are becoming skeptical about the claims of Christianity often due to the poor example of those professing a real relationship with God. This leads many away from the truth source of life: You were meant to be in a truly loving and vibrant relationship with God and not to a religious expression based upon individual works or a religious expression that does not embrace God’s grace at all.
How can these future leaders understand what a healthy relationship with God can be like when we ourselves do not present a realistic or desirable for them to follow?
We should not be surprised that the government is being asked to step in and legislate ethical behaviour when we surrender this responsibility to others less qualified. Jesus Christ died for everyone regardless of anything listed in the anti-discrimination laws. He instructed us to love each other.
However, He did not instruct us to condone the sin of the individual. Jesus, also claimed, He was the only way to please the God and the Bible claims that there is no salvation outside of faith in Jesus Christ.
Now everyone should be treated with respect regardless of their personal beliefs but we surely need to remember that we are charged by God with the responsibility to raise the lives that He has entrusted to us. Set the example with actions and not just the words for someone’s eternity may just be riding on your consistency.
Remember, that he who dies with the most toys or monuments still dies but the investment in the life, faith and ethics or morality in your children are a lasting legacy.
What profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world and yet loses his soul? What message do you send your children each Sunday morning?