Friday, June 22, 2007

Holy Hill Living

Looking for creative ways to teach your children? Leonard Pitts, journalist for the Miami Herald, taught his child a lesson when his son watched a banned television show. Pitts described it as “a sleazy talk show.”

If you walked into his kitchen right after the offense, you would have seen his son standing over the kitchen garbage, head bent, watching “moldy leftovers and empty cans.”

Mr. Pitts told his son, “If you are determined to look at trash, then here it is.” His teaching method was better than a tongue lashing, better than chalk on blackboard.

A common problem in homes is that outside forces come in through media. We wouldn’t think of literally opening our front doors and welcoming in active murderers, the profane, tattlers, or persons who displayed improprieties, those who conducted themselves in ways not considered moral or appropriate. However, the same sinister characters are sneaking in through the media backdoor.

Perhaps it’s a good time to revisit Psalm 15 where David gave a list for holy living. In verse 1, he asks a question of the Lord, “[W]ho may live on your holy hill?” I think he’s asking: what does it take to sit right up next to you and not feel dirty? What has to happen so I am not tainted when I talk to you?

David must have meditated and talked to God about this question because he reveals answers in the next four verses: First, he calls for a blameless walk and a righteous life. A blameless life doesn’t mean a perfect life, but it does mean one relies on the help of God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. We all sin, but the blameless seek forgiveness from God and man when offenses occur. Those who remain clean – they keep making corrections listening to God’s correction as life unfolds.

David’s second bit of advice is to “speak the truth” from the heart and to not slander (not all news and talk shows slander, but many do). Third, do no wrong to your neighbor and don’t cast slurs on your fellow man.

Fourth and fifth, despise the wicked and honor those who love and obey God. Do we really despise the wicked? Or, are we entertained by programming, nonfiction and novels that glorify the wicked?

Sixth, keep oaths even when it’s painful. Seventh, lend money to your neighbors without interest, and never accept bribes against the innocent.

We can’t produce a tasty picnic from the contents of a garbage can. The old adage is true, “Garbage in, garbage out.” Looking to move your morals to a better neighborhood? Try “holy hill” living. David says we can be God’s neighbor and a better friend to our in-the-flesh neighbors when we incorporate these seven strategies for better living.

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References: Making Life Work by Paul Faulkner page 275

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