Thursday, May 30, 2019
Integrity Takes Courage - Beware of wolves in sheeps' clothing
I often think of the slogan, "The proof of the pudding is in the eating." or as it says in the Gospel of Matthew in Chapter 7, verse 20, by their fruits you will know them.
Matthew 7:14 - 20
But the gate is narrow (contracted [k]by pressure) and the way is straitened and compressed that leads away to life, and few are those who find it.
Beware of false prophets, who come to you dressed as sheep, but inside they are devouring wolves.
You will [l]fully recognize them by their fruits. Do people pick grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles?
Even so, every healthy (sound) tree bears good fruit [[m]worthy of admiration], but the sickly (decaying, worthless) tree bears bad (worthless) fruit.
A good (healthy) tree cannot bear bad (worthless) fruit, nor can a bad (diseased) tree bear [n]excellent fruit [worthy of admiration].
Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and cast into the fire.
Therefore, you will fully know them by their fruits.
And I think at this election time of the fruits of the Republican administration: devastating war in Iraq, increased negativity and nastiness in our civil discourse, loss of respect around the world, more poor people in poverty while the rich have gotten richer, no health care for 47 million Americans, the devastation of New Orleans and the lack of governmental response, and yet all the God talk and God bless America in political speeches to get votes from naive evangelicals who aren't aware of how they are being manipulated by the "false prophets" who are dressed as sheep but inside are devouring wolves.
We are bombarded with all kinds of opinions from pundits, preachers, politicians, celebrities, and experts. What is the ordinary person to think, to do? Listen with your head and your heart and act with integrity. Integrity comes from wisdom, courage, timing, perserverance, and a willingness to suffer in an open hearted way for justice and truth. This way is narrow and unfortunately there are few who find it. I pray that you and I be ones who do.
Bruce Cockburn - Let the bad air out. Song lasts 5:50 and well worth listening to.
I published this article on the Chalicefire blog on 05/29/08. After 11 years not much has changed. If anything, some might argue that things have gotten worse. However, Trumpism is not so much the problem as the symptom of the disease, the disease being lack of integrity.
Integrity is one of those words we don't use much any more. Do you know anyone, perhaps even yourself, who this word could be used to describe?
Integrity takes a muturity, a pesence of mind, what we called back in the 60s, "having your shit together." It seems to me that in this day and age it is rare to find people who have their shit together and when you do, it is a grand blessing.