Weekly Thought – November 30, 2021
Fred treasured his friendships, nurturing them through the years. In the 1950s he spent hours traveling across the country. Because nonstop flights were nonexistent, he had long hours in airport layovers. Not one to waste time -or connections- he had a file of 3×5 cards organized by city with the contact info on everyone he knew in that town. His secretary would load his briefcase with all the travel necessities including the pertinent cards for the airport stays and a roll of change for the pay phone. These calls kept friendships alive and fertilized his large network. This is an excerpt from a commencement speech.
An Educated Heart
I want to congratulate you on completing your degree. You hear about life-long learning, but just as key is an educated heart. One evidence is a right evaluation of self-worth. I am convinced Christians should understand their identity in Christ without buying into the false emphasis on image and esteem which the current culture emphasizes.
A friend of mine was a professor who came to faith in Christ late in life. During a conversation he said, “True dignity happens when genuine pride and genuine humility unite.”
We in the Christian community think of pride and humility as antonyms when actually they are two sides of the same coin. Don’t you feel that you can be justly proud of being God’s child, a member of His family? A wealthy business friend in Boston and his wife took a girl off the street into their home for a year to help rehabilitate her. Each night after dinner he would go over the catechism he developed for her which began with the question, “Why does God love you?” Her reply was: “Not because I am good but because I am precious.” Then the second question was “Why are you precious?” The reply: “Because Christ died for me.” Once when speaking in East Texas a little 80 year old woman heard this story, and hurried to speak to me afterwards. “Thank you, Mr. Smith. All my life I have wanted to be precious and now I know I am.”
You unite that pride with genuine humility and you have a truly educated heart. True humility is best defined as “not denying the power you have but admitting the power comes through you and not from you.” Denial is lying; attribution is truth telling. Some people develop a false humility by bad-mouthing themselves. This perpetuates a lie. We are to feel good about ourselves when we as a member of the Body of Christ knows we are being used. The power is not ours, but His. In this is dignity and the realization of self-worth, not image driven self-esteem, but God’s self-worth.
Another evidence of a learning heart is a homing sense – a magnetic pull for home. Just as the carrier pigeons never lose the pull of the home pad, the educated heart draws toward the Father…His values, His plan, and His community. In a graduating class this large. Many of you will get lost in the trees as you chase the dollar, fame, or even service. In this lostness, you need your homing instinct to activate driving you back.
I visited recently with a CEO who told me of veering away from his “old time religious principles,” making decisions with faulty foundations. He said he finally had the desire to “come home.” He realigned with the church finding true direction.
The challenge is to remember the lighthouse of your faith which will always shine the way home.
This week carefully consider: 1) If I were speaking to college graduates, what would I say? 2) How do I reconcile pride and humility? 3) What system do I use to nurture relationships?
Words of Wisdom: “Humility is not denying the power, but admitting it comes through you and not from you.”
Wisdom from the Word: “Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with a heart of mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.” (Colossians 3:12 NET Bible)