Thursday, November 30, 2017

Dear Friends:

We’re seeing something quite extraordinary media events in the USA lately. Very  famous and powerful men are being accused of, frankly, being stupid.  The say, touch, suggest and request inappropriate things (sexually) from ladies to whom they are not married— and they’re getting caught. Just this week Matt Lauer (NBC anchor)and Garrison Keillor (NPR) were fired for their stupidity.


What surprises me about these men—-and the many others that have fallen lately—-is that they are normally the FIRST sort of person that would accuse, denounce and quickly condemn anyone else of the very same things that they did.  Surely they knew that what they did was wrong (at least, they’re saying that the realize it now!) and certainly they had the ability  to say “no” to their impulses and not indulge in the degrading things they did.  But it appears that they lacked the discipline to stop——and that discipline would have led to an understanding of how important it is to be wise about how you treat people.


Vice President Mike Pence stated earlier that  he never eats alone with a woman other than his wife and that he won’t attend events featuring alcohol without her by his side, either. Pence has been ridiculed for saying this, but this is the same standard Billy Graham has lived 90+ scandalous years by.  Pence, in my view, is living wisely and with discipline. Period.  And the same might be said about Barack Obama or Jimmy Carter or any other politician that was careful around the opposite sex—-I am not arguing one political party over the other. I am thinking about the need for men in power to use their head!   Proverbs 12:1 says, “Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge, but whoever hates correction is stupid.”  NO ONE likes to be disciplined, rebuked, chastened.  But a wise man (or woman) welcomes it as a gift from God—-as a barrier and hedge to keep them from falling into disgrace as with Messrs. Lauer and Keillor.


Yet, there’s always a temptation to feel good about the driver in the  fancy sports car getting pulled over for speeding; and we feel the same right now as we see the powerful men (that don’t share our political, spiritual or social convictions?) get fired and humbled.  But of course it’s very wrong and dangerous to crow and gloat over the fall of someone else.  The question should be, “Am I behaving the same?”  Perhaps not in the literal perverse way these men are accused: but am I one that LOVES  discipline?  Do I appreciate what it is preparing me for and protecting me from? Do I understand that God disciplines me because I am His child and He loves me! Do I reflect upon the absolute need for discipline—-regardless of my age?  Discipline from God, or from my own habits, is training that makes me more willing to obey or more able to control myself!

God trains me by allowing things to happen (or not happen) in my life in such a way that I look up to Him and cry out to Him: SPEAK LORD!  And I can choose discipline when, as with Mike Pence, I don’t allow myself to be placed in the wrong place, at the wrong time, with the wrong person(s).

Today I prayed for Mr. Lauer, Mr. Keillor, Mr. Bill O’Reilly, our President, our leaders…..and myself. May God have mercy on us all and teach us, with His gentle hand, to accept His discipline and rebuke.  Speak Lord Jesus.



Dean Barley


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