You Are What You Say (and Do)

Today’s gues
devotion is by Loree Lough, from: Be Still…and Let Your Nail Polish Dry © 2008 Summerside Press
You Are What You Say (and Do)
And as ye would that men should do to
you, Do ye also to them likewise.  
Luke 6:31 (NIV)
You’ve heard it
said that reputation is what others think you are, but character is WHO you
are. Two of my favorite quotes come to mind when mulling over that one.
            
The
first is the one my grandfather quoted when one of us grabbed a cookie before
dinner, crossed the street without looking both ways, or snooped in his attic
without permission…and stretched the truth when he caught us red-handed at any
of those things.
            
“Your
thoughts,” he’d say, pointing at each of us in turn, “become words. Words
become actions. Actions become character. And character is everything.”
            
I
don’t imagine any of his little cookie thieves knew what in the world he was
talking about…until we grew older and spent some serious time in the real
world. Then the hazy meaning of the adage became clearer, and we began to
understand that it’s synonymous with my other favorite, The Golden Rule.
            
“Do
unto others as you’d have them do unto you” has long been the center point for
morality, ethics, religion, and politics. It’s the worldwide litmus test for
fairness and decency. And Matthew and Luke weren’t the only Bible scholars who
believed in the concept. Quite the contrary! Mark, John, James, Paul, and Jonah
cited it, and similar passages can be found in Proverbs, Leviticus,
Deuteronomy, and others as well.
            
More
than twenty world religions have adopted some version of its intent and meaning
as doctrine. Confucius touted it as a moral truth, and in 1963, President
Kennedy reminded citizens of its intent in an anti-segregation speech. “The
heart of the question,” he said, “is whether we are going to treat our fellow
Americans the way we want to be treated.” To apply it, we must first try to
identify with our brothers and sisters and, as my American Indian ancestors
would have said, be willing to walk a mile in their moccasins.
            
I
try to remember these famous sage-isms when a driver cuts me off in traffic,
people at the grocery store dump whole cartloads of merchandise on the conveyor
belt in the 15 Items or Less line, or someone says something to hurt my
feelings. Instead of an in-kind knee-jerk reaction, I recite Luke 6:31, and
Grandpa’s maxim, too.
            
Because
I hope that by living The Golden Rule, my reputation as a woman of Christian
character will precede me…and follow me…everywhere.
Today’s Prayer:  Jesus, Lord and Savior, continue to
teach me the true meaning of turning the other cheek. Let the life I lead prove
to the world that a Christian’s heart becomes caring and forgiving through the
strength found in Your Word.
With 81 books (3,000,000+
in circulation), Loree Lough’s novels consistently earn 4- and 5-star reviews,
such as From Ashes to Honor, a 9/11
story (First Responders series) and Love
Finds You in Folly Beach, South Carolina
. She splits her time between her
Baltimore home and a cabin in the Alleghenies…where coffee enables her to
correctly identify “critter tracks.” Visit her website at
www.LoreeLough.com