The Dignity of Deference

For Lord’s Day, December 9, 2018

Dear Saints,

It has been a long time since I have been able to give proper attention to writing an e-devotional for you.  It likely will be a while before I can do so again.  But I was so impressed with something I heard on the radio this week which I’d like to quickly pass on to you for your own meditation and benefit.

During his eulogy for President George H.W. Bush this week, former Senator Alan K. Simpson shared about how President Bush never held a grudge and nobly made friendships even with those who were previous opponents and victors over him.  Mr. Simpson shared this pithy and profound observation:  

He never hated anyone … He knew what his mother and my mother always knew, hatred corrodes the container it’s carried in.

I’ll let that simple illustration of the Second Greatest Commandment (based on Leviticus 19:18’s important context) as well as wise self-preservation speak for itself.  But two verses that Fernanda and I recently noticed in our devotions through Proverbs were close in proximation and similar in emphasis quickly came to mind upon hearing that quote about President Bush, which I offer here:

Proverb 19:11: The discretion of a man deferreth his anger; and it is his glory to pass over a transgression.

Proverb 20:3: It is an honour for a man to cease from strife: but every fool will be meddling.  

By God’s grace, may we all earn eulogies that highlight such dignity as demonstrated by the legacy of President H.W. Bush.

Something else I think is worth sharing here.  Mr. Simpson also commented on how President Bush never lost his sense of humor (though he amusingly could never remember a punchline in telling a joke), and opined: “Humor is the universal solvent against the abrasive elements of life.”  Naturally, these other Proverbs also quickly surfaced with a smile (thinking of a sermon this year, “Laughter Can Minister”):

Proverb 15:13: A merry heart maketh a cheerful countenance: but by sorrow of the heart the spirit is broken.  

Proverb 15:15: All the days of the afflicted are evil: but he that is of a merry heart hath a continual feast. 

Proverb 17:22: A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones. 

By God’s grace, may we all keep finding ways to laugh our way through our weeping to get to new joy in every morning and help us live dignified, un-begrudging lives.  If you need another suggested resource, ask Rachel and Olivia about a great YouTube Channel some of you have been heartily guffawing over with us upon visits to the manse …

Semper Reformanda,

Pastor Grant