Doing things "the right way"
"But the noble man makes noble plans, and by noble deeds he stands." -Isaiah 32:8
When I was 14 years old, I was in Boy Scouts. Scouting isn't as big a deal now as it was in the mid-70's, but at the time it was a thing among the group I ran with. I had enjoyed Cub Scouts and "Webelos", and finally graduated to the Boy Scouts. Only Boy Scouts wasn't nearly as much fun as I thought it would be, for a variety of reasons. So I decided I would quit. I told one of my buddies I wasn't going back and asked him to let the troop leader know that I was out. My mom was just as happy not to drive me to events or have any more of her budget tied up in fees and camping gear (I earned some of my own funding for these things, but was heavily subsidized by my parents.) My dad saw a teachable moment. He said it was OK to not be a Boy Scout anymore, if that's how I truly felt about it, but I was not going to make my leader guess whether I was in or out and I was not going to quit by proxy. He (not Mama) drove me to the next troop meeting, and stood at the door and watched as I found the troop leader, explained that I would no longer be a scout, shook his hand, and walked away. Hard conversation for a 14-yr-old? Sure was. But Daddy thought it was important for me to understand there is a right way to do things and a wrong way to do things and a man does things the right way, even when it's hard.
"I am going the way of all the earth. Be strong, therefore, and show yourself a man." -1 Kings 2:2
One of the messages from Jeremy's story last week that stuck out to me was the idea of honor. One of the definitions of "honor", as noted in the Merriam-Webster dictionary, is "a keen sense of ethical conduct; integrity". I look at "honor" as behaving in a way that is consistent with my values, or, very simply, doing the right thing because it's the right thing. Honor is about the doing. It's hard to know whether I have honor until I am tested. I can know the right answer, I can think I will react in certain ways in certain situations. But until the moment of truth comes, no one can tell for sure. Talking about things in the theoretical is one thing. Playing them out in real life is another. Talking about it is practice. Doing it is game day, and we're playing for keeps. Jeremy's stance was, "As long as there's a heartbeat, we will stay the course. God may take this child or leave her in our care, but it's His decision and my family will walk with Him in faith, either way." That's powerful. That's manly. That's doing things the right way.
"Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, saying, “I gave birth to him in pain.” Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request." -1 Chronicles 4:9-10
Maybe you have examples in your life where you've had to do something similar. Maybe you stood tall, or maybe you wish you'd done better, been more honorable. Either way, it's never too early or too late to do the right thing. What makes a hero? It's the one who is willing to stand up and do the right thing when it counts the most, regardless of the cost. Men, we are in spiritual warfare. Manhood is under attack. Families are in crisis. Churches seek relevance in an increasingly worldly culture. Who's going to show up?
"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock." -Matthew 7:24-25