Friday, September 28, 2012

Strong characters (1 Corinthians 15:33) needed now more than ever - with a Will Rogers story.

SCRIPTURE: 1 Corinthians 15:33 (NIV)
Do not be misled: "Bad company corrupts good character."

STORY by Warren W. Wiersbe:
Will Rogers was known for his laughter, but he also knew how to weep. One day he was entertaining at the Milton H. Berry Institute in Los Angeles, a hospital that specialized in rehabilitating polio victims and people with broken backs and other extreme physical handicaps. Of course, Rogers had everybody laughing, even patients in really bad condition; but then he suddenly left the platform and went to the rest room. Milton Berry followed him to give him a towel; and when he opened the door, he saw Will Rogers leaning against the wall, sobbing like a child. He closed the door, and in a few minutes, Rogers appeared back on the platform, as jovial as before.
If you want to learn what a person is really like, ask three questions: What makes him laugh? What makes him angry? What makes him weep? These are fairly good tests of character that are especially appropriate for Christian leaders. I hear people saying, "We need angry leaders today!" or "The time has come to practice militant Christianity!" Perhaps, but "the wrath of man does not produce the righteousness of God" (James 1:20).
What we need today is not anger but anguish, the kind of anguish that Moses displayed when he broke the two tablets of the law and then climbed the mountain to intercede for his people, or that Jesus displayed when He cleansed the temple and then wept over the city. The difference between anger and anguish is a broken heart. It's easy to get angry, especially at somebody else's sins; but it's not easy to look at sin, our own included, and weep over it.
What breaks your heart? What causes you to stay awake at night? What bothers you to the point that you have to do something? What brings tears to your eyes?

I think Warren Wiersbe is correct, even though he wrote it in 1991, when he states that what is “need(ed) today is not anger but anguish,” the kind of anguish that drives strong men to their knees. The kind of anguish that will not let us get a good nights sleep because our souls are troubled. The kind of anguish that moves us to honestly look at ourselves instead of just the other person. The kind of anguish that will move us to weeping over a city, state, nation and the world.

The world is waiting for men and women of strong moral character who, at their core, feels the pain and knows the journey of those who occupy the world around them. We need individuals with a broken heart and a contrite spirit.

Are we comfortable enough in our own skin and strong enough in our own convictions to be that kind of individual?  

Make us a captive Lord and then we will be free. Make us a captive Lord and our backbone will be strong. Make us a captive Lord and then, our hearts will break and we will weep for the world.

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