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Sunday, January 29, 2012

You Are What You Say (and Do)


Today's gues devotion is by Loree Lough, from: Be Still…and Let Your Nail Polish Dry © 2008 Summerside Press

You Are What You Say (and Do)

And as ye would that men should do to you, Do ye also to them likewise.  Luke 6:31 (NIV)

You’ve heard it said that reputation is what others think you are, but character is WHO you are. Two of my favorite quotes come to mind when mulling over that one.
            
The first is the one my grandfather quoted when one of us grabbed a cookie before dinner, crossed the street without looking both ways, or snooped in his attic without permission…and stretched the truth when he caught us red-handed at any of those things.
            
“Your thoughts,” he’d say, pointing at each of us in turn, “become words. Words become actions. Actions become character. And character is everything.”
            
I don’t imagine any of his little cookie thieves knew what in the world he was talking about…until we grew older and spent some serious time in the real world. Then the hazy meaning of the adage became clearer, and we began to understand that it’s synonymous with my other favorite, The Golden Rule.
            
“Do unto others as you’d have them do unto you” has long been the center point for morality, ethics, religion, and politics. It’s the worldwide litmus test for fairness and decency. And Matthew and Luke weren’t the only Bible scholars who believed in the concept. Quite the contrary! Mark, John, James, Paul, and Jonah cited it, and similar passages can be found in Proverbs, Leviticus, Deuteronomy, and others as well.
            
More than twenty world religions have adopted some version of its intent and meaning as doctrine. Confucius touted it as a moral truth, and in 1963, President Kennedy reminded citizens of its intent in an anti-segregation speech. “The heart of the question,” he said, “is whether we are going to treat our fellow Americans the way we want to be treated.” To apply it, we must first try to identify with our brothers and sisters and, as my American Indian ancestors would have said, be willing to walk a mile in their moccasins.
            
I try to remember these famous sage-isms when a driver cuts me off in traffic, people at the grocery store dump whole cartloads of merchandise on the conveyor belt in the 15 Items or Less line, or someone says something to hurt my feelings. Instead of an in-kind knee-jerk reaction, I recite Luke 6:31, and Grandpa’s maxim, too.
            
Because I hope that by living The Golden Rule, my reputation as a woman of Christian character will precede me…and follow me…everywhere.

Today’s Prayer:  Jesus, Lord and Savior, continue to teach me the true meaning of turning the other cheek. Let the life I lead prove to the world that a Christian’s heart becomes caring and forgiving through the strength found in Your Word.

With 81 books (3,000,000+ in circulation), Loree Lough’s novels consistently earn 4- and 5-star reviews, such as From Ashes to Honor, a 9/11 story (First Responders series) and Love Finds You in Folly Beach, South Carolina. She splits her time between her Baltimore home and a cabin in the Alleghenies…where coffee enables her to correctly identify “critter tracks.” Visit her website at www.LoreeLough.com

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