August 6, 2018

Dear FPC—

              I was just talking with some of our kids—it is shocking that school starts NEXT week for some of them!  And the week after that for most, I think.  Wow.  All the more reason to be sure to come to the Corn Bust on the 17th!

              This week a number of us are going to the Global Leadership Summit.  As you know, I have attended this event multiple times and benefited greatly from it.  I am excited to see what I learn this year.  At the same time, there is a cloud over the Summit this year—its founder and traditional host Bill Hybels is no longer involved and is the subject of numerous claims of sexual harassment and misuse of his position.   I do not know the facts.  Still, it seems to be another reminder of the pressing need for accountability, transparency, and truth.  What things in your life are you embarrassed about—what do you hope other people don’t learn of?  All of us have some things like that, I expect. 

              So—what do we do?  Here are my thoughts—the 4 R’s:

Recognize—realize the shameful thing is something you should not have done. 

Repent—ask forgiveness from God and for help to not do it anymore.  Resolve to change—that is what repentance really is.

Repair—are people or relationships damaged because of your acts (or inaction)? If so, go to them and express your sorrow for your actions.  Ask for forgiveness.  Whether they forgive you right now is not your business, it is theirs.  What matters is what you do.

(be) Righteous—don’t lie, don’t cover up.  Deal with it forthrightly and humbly.  As we have so often learned, the cover-up is often worse than the original crime.   Lying just creates more harm, more mess, more discord. 

This Sunday we are talking about Truth.  Jesus is the truth, he is full of grace and truth, he sent us the Spirit of Truth (the Holy Spirit) to live in us.  By contrast, Jesus called the devil “a liar and the father of lies.”  Which team do you want to be on? Don’t give the devil a foothold.  Swallow your pride (which can be bitter), practice the 4 Rs, and live in the truth! 

Let’s help one another live on team Truth (and practice a lot of grace along the way)!

Pastor Steve