RE-BUILDING CHARACTER

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Sir Godfrey Gregg 

Almost everyone will agree that we are living in a day of moral and cultural confusion. One will argue that if we want to improve our nation/country, we must once again dedicate ourselves to the hard work of inculcating virtue in the lives of our children. We must teach them things like justice, humility, honesty, hard work, self-control, kindness, perseverance and respect for our women. (Your mother, sister, aunt, wife, daughter and co-workers)

You will agree with me that our nation/country is in a serious moral and spiritual decline. Although we can argue about why it happened or even about how it happened, the fact itself seems to be beyond debate. Somewhere, somehow we as a people lost the concept of character and virtue.

For the first time in our nation/country history, we have raised an entire generation of young people who have no conscience. And since their parents had no solid moral foundation, they had nothing to pass along to their children. As a result, many young people today do not know the difference between right and wrong.

We cannot sit idly by and watch the political bases divide our nation/country to the abyss of no return. It is time that the Christian Society gets involved in restoring the discipline that Solomon laid out in the book of Proverbs.

Because our nation/country has lost or is losing the concept of absolute standards, we have now entered a period of scepticism enlightenment where it is OK for you, but not Ok for me; It’s right for you, but not right for me; wrong for you, but not wrong for me; You’ve got your way and I’ve got my way. But if there are no absolute standards, then dishonesty is just as good as honesty, hatred is just as noble as compassion, and laziness is commendable as hard work.

If our nation/country is going to change, the hearts of our people have to change one by one or I may suggest collectively. That can only happen as Christians begin to live by moral standards that truly are not of this world. Where the standards of one should be the standards of all. As we face an increasingly sceptical society, we must consciously demonstrate a superior ethical kind of behaviour, for we can preach all we want, but until others see the difference incarnated in us, it will be all talk, just another Sunday morning sermon.

All that I have written so far may sound gloomy, and indeed there are dark days or dark clouds on the horizon of our nation/country. But there is where the good news begins. If virtue is what we need, then I know where we can go to find it. For thousands of years the wisest man that ever lived with the exception of Our Lord Jesus Christ, recorded the fundamental principles of moral behaviour that have been the bedrock for Christians and the Jewish people. These principles were also written for our modern-day politicians and I will interject that none is excluded. The truth is that those truths laid the foundation for what we know today as Western Civilization.

I am speaking about the Book of Proverbs written by the wise King Solomon. It is a Book of Virtues for the young people and not leaving the older ones out of the picture. It represents the undiluted wisdom of the ages. Solomon spoke direct and to the point. He only used the words to get his message over. He never preached in the normal sense of the word, nor is it a threat to anyone. In all his sayings he sets forth the basic principles of moral behaviour. There are hundreds of areas of moral and spiritual concern for our nation/country. I will conclude that this is a practical handbook for virtuous living as dictated by the wise man Solomon.

These proverbs are not about children or even for children. I believe that they are for the past, present and future generations. Everyone needs to take heed to these proverbs even though Solomon’s writings are a mere fraction of a larger Book of discipline and character. For that matter, we could all benefit from some practical, down-to-earth teaching about what is right and what is wrong and how we are to treat the people we meet every day.

For a nation/country and the wider world that has lost its way, the Bible is the inspired Book to bring us back to reality. The Bible is clear and the way forward is sure if we as a people or nation/country will follow the precepts of the Book.

22 It is of the Lord‘s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23)

It is my prayer that after reading this message we come to the realization that we are our brother’s keeper. May Almighty God open our understanding and bring us from the brink of destruction.

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