The Denver West Point Society hosted its first Leadership and Ethics Conference for high school juniors in Colorado. It was entitled “Living an Honorable Life.” General (ret) George Casey served as the keynote speaker. I had the privilege of hosting at my table six juniors—Amaya, Grace, Elias, Sandra, Caleb and Haley representing three different high schools and towns. We studied vignettes that featured moral/ethical dilemmas with the students working through ethical decision-making models to reach wise solutions.
Colorado’s intent is to have an honorable justice system. Judges are elected differently than politicians running for office. They are rated on merit and then voted for by the public every four or six years. By using this kind of system, judges remain independent from special interest groups and earn their keep through their job performance.
Sitting in the courtroom and listening to the judge emphasize the importance of listening and truth-telling, I could not help but feel gratitude for the opportunity to perform my civic duty. For the first time in my life I was called to serve on jury duty. It was an enlightening time learning how Colorado’s justice system is set up. Unfortunately, it did not last long. The court case to which I was assigned involved a company of which two other prospective jurors and I belonged. We were instantly released from duty and sent home.
While attending a conference with senior military leaders we were informed that the likelihood of Congress failing to pass a continuing resolution was highly improbable. Less than three days later the Senate and House failed to agree and we were surprised.
Most of my organization’s employees sit at home unable to go to work and are unsure when they will be able to resume their jobs. For one income folks and families on tight budgets, the forced layoff is angst-producing. One missed paycheck is fraught with second and third order effects. As frustration with our government continues to climb I am taken back to my teenage years living in a third world country ripe with corruption. Increasingly it feels like we are becoming third world. But I am not surprised.
This is another one of those topics most of us would rather not be bothered with—to our own peril. We want God to be just and fair but we often fail to understand that His fairness is effectual because of what lies underneath it—His wrath. How can anger have anything to do with fairness? Well, let someone try and grab your daughter and abuse her and you’ll have a good idea. Watch someone blatantly run a red light and see if your blood begins to boil. The Bible teaches us that “God is a righteous judge and a God who shows His wrath every day” (Psalm 7:11).
Have you ever engaged on a mission convinced you were doing the Lord’s will only to see your efforts defeated by some unforeseen event? Have you taken a job sure that it was God’s choice for you only to discover the boss was mean-spirited or the co-workers adept at making your life miserable? Have you lost a family member or experienced prolonged illness, convinced that God would bring healing and He didn’t? If you answered “yes” to any of these questions you probably have sincere issues to discuss with God regarding His will and timing.
Tragedy has a way of releasing the inner ideologies of people that normally would go unstated. After terrorists leveled New York’s Twin Towers and struck the Pentagon, we hear many voices emerging. One voice cries: “Revenge!” It acknowledges the pain of being wounded and seethes with anger. “Blow away the enemy! Make sure he never strikes us again.”
Jesus was the apotheosis of courage. Imagine being perfect yet choosing to ignore the false charges of corrupt accusers! Jesus let His character be assassinated without defending Himself. He accepted His own murder without the need to exact revenge. Instead, He entrusted Himself to His Father's hands--to be publicly humiliated by the very people He came to save. If anyone had the right to call down forces from heaven it was Christ. By thought alone He could have called out legions of angels. They didn't have to pack duffel bags or get Anthrax shots before deploying! No force on earth could have stopped them. Yet, the Son of Man submitted to God's will. The Holy Spirit would come after to vindicate Him. The pierced One rose to eternal glory.
1 Corinthians 13:4--Love is patient, love is kind. Love does not envy, is not boastful, is not conceited,
Titus 3:4,5--But when the kindness of God our Savior and His love for mankind appeared. He saved us—not by works of righteousness that we had done, but according to His mercy, through the washing of regeneration and renewal by the Holy Spirit.
Luke 23:44-46--It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three, because the sun’s light failed. The curtain of the sanctuary was split down the middle. And Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into Your hands I entrust My spirit.” Saying this, He breathed His last.