WHAT’S WRONG WITH LIVING RIGHT? Andy Hollifield 11-29-17
Deuteronomy 8:11 Beware that thou forget not the Lord thy God, in not keeping his commandments, and his judgments, and his statutes, which I command thee this day.
Deuteronomy 4:9 Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons;
1 Samuel 18:14 And David behaved himself wisely in all his ways and the Lord was with him.
I listened to the radio for just a few minutes today, to people who were talking about Judge Roy Moore and all the stuff he did or didn’t do. The floodgates have seemingly opened with wild ancient accusations flowing in wherever there is a camera. I am not minimizing the actions and the devastation that some of the actions of recent weeks caused in the lives of those affected. I try to refrain from talking a whole lot about politics because the Lord impressed on me over a year ago to write an encouraging post each day and there is certainly nothing much encouraging about politics. No one knows why these ladies didn’t lodge complaints years ago if their claims were true and they were bothered by them. But as I listened to this garbage that years ago would have made very little headlines simply because you didn’t talk openly about such things, I thought to myself; what is wrong with people? The simple solution to these kinds of problems is just to live right and guard your name.
Proverbs 22:1 states that “A good name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favor than silver and gold.” Ecclesiastes 7:1 says “A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one’s birth.” Somewhere along the way of growing up, it was instilled in me that I would always have my name if I didn’t have anything else and it was the most valuable thing I possessed. Not meaning that my name is any better than any one elses, although I think it is because it is what God and my parents have given me. But I was taught the things that give you a good name. The scripture in 1 Samuel 18 is about as simple and clear-cut as it gets: behave yourself! I used to get so tired of hearing that every time I went somewhere with someone or spent the night at someone’s house. I was constantly reminded to “behave myself”. Did you notice that scripture carries a promise with it? It goes on to say that “David behaved himself in all his ways and the Lord was with him.” God will be with you if you behave. The simple definition of behave is to act in a particular way and act properly. That would imply that we are to conform to some rules of conduct. When I was growing up, we didn’t get to act like little heathens at home. We were made to mind and as a result, people would often comment about our manners and general demeanor and politeness. We had a blast growing up but when we came indoors, we had to settle down and behave and even more so at church. I see kids now that I would like to have about 10 minutes with and I think I could fix a whole lot of their problems. Most of the time, lack of behaving is caused by lack of parenting or standards that are too low and sometimes just a hard-headed young’un.
Getting back to that “good name;” you have to conduct yourself in a certain way and adhere to guidelines established by the person or persons responsible for setting the standard. Speaking of parenting Proverbs 23:13 & 14 says, “Withhold not correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.” (14) “Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell.” I personally believe that one reason why it is so hard to get lost folks in church is because no one has taught them to fear and reverence the Lord and his house. They don’t esteem God because they were never trained to. If you behave yourself, you will not only get a good name but will have the Lord’s presence with you just as David did.
One of the things I picked up on from my dad was the importance of being honest with people. That used to be taught in schools with the story of the boy who cried wolf. He did it so many times that finally nobody believed him any more. Because he had lied to everyone so many times, when a wolf did come to attack, his cries went unheeded. My dad’s favorite answer to someone who would ask him to do something or be somewhere, he would always say, “If nothing happens.” That may sound simple and silly but it really is a good way to keep from lying to people. I asked dad one time why he always said that and he said because you never know what might come up or cause you to not be able to do what you have committed to.
Another part if my upbringing was a strong work ethic. When I began to get opportunities to work for folks doing odd jobs, I was warned by my dad that I better always give my very best no matter what I was doing. He told me that if I didn’t do a good job for someone and he found out about it, I would get to give them a refund. I was also taught to care for and help others when they needed help and that I didn’t have to be paid for everything I did for someone. Sometimes, if you just try to be neighborly and help someone a little when they need it, it will go a long way towards earning you a good name.
Reverence the Lord, respect elders and those in authority, care for others and be compassionate, and always be honest even if it cost you. That’s pretty simple rules to live by aren’t they? It amazes me when I hear of judges, and respected actors, film directors, athletes, or anyone else getting themselves into trouble simply because they don’t behave themselves. It’s not always bad parenting, some kids just have a head like a rock at times and have to learn everything the hard way. Sometimes they even get rebellious and cut their nose off to spite their face. God warned us in the scripture verses I listed in Deuteronomy, that not only are we to behave and not forget his blessings and statutes, but we are to teach them to our children and grandchildren.
Do you think maybe if more people were raised to love, fear, and reverence the Lord that people would conduct themselves differently? A little compassion and a lot of honesty would go along way toward changing the headlines we all have to hear now. I hope this encourages you a little to just keep on keeping on as my pastor used to say. You’re not in the good fight alone. What is wrong with living right? Have a blessed day in the Lord!!!