the baby and the bathwater


Wisdom 2: Walk Securely
February 26, 2009, 4:47 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

Whoever walks in integrity walks securely. (Proverbs 10:9)

There is probably something in all of us that wants to get rich quick. Every now and then we go into our little dream world and start to work out what we would do if we suddenly inherited a vast fortune, quickly rose to a position of national or international stardom, or (as is the theme of a not a small number of films) suddenly found ourselves as President of the USA. Maybe we all now and then look for the short-cut that will bring us instant wealth, fame, business success or profile.

But so often the biblical way is the steady way. The fruitful way is the long-hall way. The winning way is the way of dogged persistence.

We have been blighted by stories of banks recently who have lost their way because they tried to become rich quick. RBS, once a bastion of prudence was turned into a total failure in a very short space of time through it’s attempt at rapid expansion. Integrity has been lost, and it will take an awful lot of time to recover. The promise of quick money fulled by the fictitious Stanford millions caused the game of cricket to fall into disrepute. A famous English institution that for 2 centuries had built up a solid reputation for honest endeavour and fair play had lost it’s good name within a few short months.

The way of integrity, more often that not, is the way of a secure walk. Of steady progress.

And the church needs to know this. All too often we judge success by the number we gather rather than the number we disciple. Of course, we need to be good at both. But the long walk of discipling people is hard. One of the greatest Christian authors of recent times – Richard Foster (who wrote celebration of discipline) said that, in all his travels around the world he had never once come across a church that did discipleship well.

It’s hard, because it involves a steady pace. A secure walk. A long-term view.

Our world is geared around the quick win. The average time someone remains as a CEO of a large corporation is only 5 years. The average time someone remains as a premiership manager is now around 1 year. Even vicars are often only given 7 years before they are moved on.

One of my heroes, like many people, is Billy Graham. In his lifetime he did one thing, very well, for a very long time, with the same bunch of people. He preached live to some 215 million people in 185 countries over a period of 60 years. Early on in his ministry, in 1957 he was offered $5m (more than $35m in today’s money) to work on a TV show for the next five years. He turned the quick win down for the sake of the long hall – the long hall that lasted nearly another 50 years and brought 2.5m lost souls home.

It seems that he learned the true mark of success: to walk.

What does the Lord require of you: to act justly and to love mercy and to walk……(Micah 6:8).

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3 Comments so far
Leave a comment

The trouble with slow and steady is that progress is often difficult to see. And another thing, Moses had to wait until he was 80 before God started using him – what did he think in the waiting time? We’re such a youth oriented culture that Moses was clearly a failure. He doesn’t seem to have achieved anything useful by the time he has his mid-life crisis, let alone his 80 year crisis!

Comment by chrisleigh

Chris

you are right. what did moses ever do……

there is hope for you and me yet!

Comment by neilbennetts

So you disagree with Rohr and don’t even stick that disagreement on that post!!! Come on Bennetts!!! also you need to qualify! (thought this quote may get some response!)

Comment by Nae




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