Eileen was at the dentist’s office when the dentist told her that her mother-in-law (my mother) really thinks the world of her but thinks that “Michael is a hard man.” Upset and embarrassed, Eileen responded, “Michael is the most loving and gentle man that I’ve ever known.” Hooray for Eileen!! Yay, yippee, yahoo!! Way to go, girllllll-friend!! Thank you, Eileen!! Anyway, from a certain perspective, I know why my mother thinks that. We won’t go into that though!! We also won’t go into why the dentist is taking my mother’s comments from the treatment room and repeating them. Anyway…
Speaking of being hard, life can be hard. Living the Christian life can be real hard. It’s easy to go with the flow of life but it is hard to stand against wrong and inappropriate behaviors in our families and otherwise. Similarly, it’s easy to try to keep everyone happy by continually turning one’s head but it’s hard to stand against gross manipulations, dishonestly, and deceit. Yet, as Christians we are called to stand for right and against wrong. One of the hardest things to deal with is what I’ve blogged about many times. That is peace. To keep peace we often turn the other cheek, look the other way, and retain a very short memory. However, there often comes a point when we are faced with the hard choice of choosing between what has become an unhealthy and illicit peace or righteousness. When things get so out of balance and so out of whack, we often face this choice. Mostly, we take the easy route so as to keep things peaceful; we just shake our heads and walk away. Other times it’s necessary to make the hard choice and stand for what is right.
This world mostly doesn’t want what is right. It wants what is physically, emotionally, and spiritually easy. When we don’t stand firm against the adverse influences in our lives, we in effect slowly sell our souls to the one making the most noise. We just don’t want to make waves even if it’s to resist what is blatantly wrong. Yet, where moral courage lacks, iniquity prevails…just look around. Our families and country got in this shape by our lack of courage to take a stand. If you get nothing else from this blog, I hope you get this: Our lack of moral courage actively provokes those on the other side of right to keep at it.
As we watch the destruction of our ethics and morals, I wonder what it will take for us to harden up and take a stand. When will we resist? Especially in our own families, especially where our kids are concerned, we have to harden up so as to stand for what is right rather than let the world have its uncontested way with them. Indeed life is hard and while we need to be “loving and gentle,” a part of us needs to be as hard as a rock.