It’s Real Personal

I have been told by some that I should not take certain things personally. Yes, I have been told that I should not be moved by compassion, well in so many words. The problem is that I can’t help but take certain things personally. This is especially true with those things that directly impact me. When it impacts me it’s real personal. To say otherwise is disingenuous at best.

Let’s look at the idea of Blacks supporting “Black” businesses. There are many that suggest that Blacks should support such businesses. And, while I have no problem with the free flow of business it bothers me when they are yelling that we should support Black business refuse to support my work. They have refused to help me in business and won’t buy my books. While I am called Black by ethnicity it seems strange that my “Black” business is not worthy of being supported. They say I should not take it personally when I reach out to those who might benefit from my services and who are also Black by ethnicity ignore me or say they will “pray” about it and never get back to me I have to wonder if it is personal. No, I don’t have to wonder. It’s real personal.

There is more. Let us look a little closer at this Black Lives Matter movement. I could argue this is more a political movement than one concerned with the lives of Blacks, but that argument is for another day. Still, it appears that Black lives only matter when it is thought the Blacks are killed by police. Hence, we now have a movement to defund and dismantle police departments. And this they say I should not take personally. Well, I do take police work personally. I have worked in and around law enforcement much of my adult life. I have worked for two police departments and two departments of corrections. I have family members active in law enforcement. But I am told not to take this personally. Well, it’s real personal. I fought this nation on a number of fronts and I am told not to take it personally. I take it personally because when I put my life on the line with my family it’s real personal.

Speaking of Black Lives Matter, I am not so sure this group is truly concerned with Black lives. You see, I recall a few years ago when a young man I knew very well was shot. He was Black. That did not matter to me. He was a human being. So, I paid a clergy visit to him in the hospital. He did not know I was there. I prayed for him and that God would give him the opportunity to turn his heart to God. That young man eventually succumbed to the injuries. There was no rioting. There was no demand this his killer be caught. No one marched in the street. He died. He was younger than me and yet I should not take it personally. I stood next to a young man killed by presumably another young Black man. He was not killed by a police officer. He was killed by a criminal and I remember vividly standing by his bedside. Still, the suggestion is that I should not take it personally. Well, I had a personal relationship with that young man. I had known him throughout my life yet I am told I should not take it personally. Well, I take it personally because it’s real personal.

Many continue to raise their fists with the mantra “Black lives matter” echoing down the streets and from the walls of nearby buildings. Yes, there are some police who need to be off the force. There are also some Blacks (and others) who need to be incarnated. Still, It becomes very personal when a narrative is made to be true and if you don’t fall in lockstep with the narrative your life is not worth it. I have not fallen in lockstep and will not. The reason is that many Black lives really don’t matter if those lives don’t meet the political agenda. Take for instance the lives lost in Chicago just this past weekend. There were over one hundred people shot and at least fourteen killed.[1] Where is the outrage? Where is Al Sharpton? Where are the leaders of Black Lives Matter?

It’s real personal and I take it as such. The lies are unbearable. The false narratives are deafening. The lives lost might not have made it into the Kingdom of God. Yet, the screaming is not concerning those who have not only lost their lives but that also missed salvation. This is the real tragedy and why I take this so personally. You see, just as I chose to defend this nation I also chose to fight for the Gospel. What would happen if we lay aside insignificant political rhetoric in favour of life-changing words of hope? What if we gave people (even Black people) a reason to live rather than a reason to kill?

I take it personally because it is personal. I have the passion to preach the Gospel without apology and have the compassion to stand on the bedside of one in certain distress. Yes, it is personal because much of the yelling and screaming does little to further the cause of unity and without unity we will continue to devolve into a land of Godless, murderous, and hardened malcontents. Yes, it is personal; it’s real personal.

[1] https://chicago.suntimes.com/crime/2020/6/20/21297470/chicago-fathers-day-weekend-shootings-homicide-gun-violence-june-19-22-104-shot?fbclid=IwAR3RwUxg1-f7XxrBSjo_NQv6itJKnPefAOdlMTRlTKB3V_5KlVc7JAxpHEQ

Raising Godly Children

Yea, it’s true. I have been watching very carefully over the years. I have been watching how parents raise their children. More specifically I have been watching how “Christian” parents raise their children.  I have also noticed how Jews raise their children and how Muslims raise their children. It strikes me as odd that the ones that declare that they truly trust in the Most High God don’t even bother to teach their children the virtues of Christendom rather they think it wise to let the children make their own decisions. I wonder if this is wise and wonder if this is the way God intended it to be.

I find it interesting that the children of God were taught to teach their children in a number of instances as enumerated in Deuteronomy.  Chapter six speaks to teaching children in this fashion:  “And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” It should be noted that these are not mere suggestions but a requirement of God to keep His statutes before the people so that when they become of age the children will be able to continue in the way of the Lord as they pass on the mandate to their children.

If God is the same yesterday, today and forever why have many that call themselves Christians forsaken to teach their children? Why do they allow them to participate in ungodly ventures under the guises of allow them to be children? Is it because these parents are not themselves Christians and are not certain of how to teach their children? These are the questions that need to be posed when parents choose not to teach their children the way of the Lord.

Yet the problem is far from difficult to resolve. The first step to teach children the virtues of Christendom is that the parents themselves must be Christians. If this first step is implemented the godly parents will by nature raise godly children. Parents need to raise their children in the way that they should go not allow them to make their own decisions. I can speak first hand because I was once a teenager and some of the things I did were very ungodly. But I am thankful for salvation at an early age. Yet this does not mean that parent should neglect their own salvation.

No, children should not be left to their own vices but should be taught the Word of God in every possible way at every opportunity. But this cannot be done of the parents are far from godly.