Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Don't Be A Grinch!

I have seen a lot of monuments. But never, not once did I ever see a monument of a critic!

The monuments are built and dedicated to risk takers, men and women of courage who in their field were willing to accept the jeers of the crowd while they did what they felt should be done.

This is true even of the saints. A saint is a man or woman who lives as though what he believes really matters. A military hero charges into battle, risking personal safety because the battle must be fought. He is the leader, he urges his soldiers into battle, and so he must be first in taking the risk. But a saint does the same. He says that he believes in Christ and his teachings, and thus he feels a duty to live by them, even when others say it is impractical or unreasonably radical.

There are two things which characterize the hero: courage and faith. The hero either believes that he will win, even against terrible odds, or he believes in something that is so important that he feels it is better to lose in pursuit of his goal even though it is not likely to be obtained, rather than accept ease and comfort by accepting the inevitable.

Tina Turner sang a few years ago that “We don’t need another hero” but she was dead wrong. We desperately need heroes. What we don’t need is more grinches!

We have become a nation of victims and grinches. We have lost sight of the fact that life is hard and that valuable things cost a lot of effort and uphill struggle. We have lost the knowledge that it takes a change of character to be successful in anything, and that outside forces can never destroy us without our permission. We have forgotten that the grinch is a sick person who has decided to make excuses rather than take action.

A grinch will criticize the government, but will not vote. He will say that the church is not evangelizing but does not himself work to save souls. He will say that money is being misspent but will not tithe. A grinch has nothing to offer, he is a negative force that saps the strength of productive people. A grinch grieves the Holy Spirit.

The difference between a grinch and a prophet is that the prophet offers a solution. A grinch just says, “I don’t like it”. Let me read you a passage of scripture:

Phillipians 2 (New International Version)

12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,

13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose.
14 Do everything without complaining or arguing,

15 so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe

What St. Paul is saying here is, offer a solution, offer a loving critique, do what must be done, but don’t be a grinch!


Ruthie said...

THis is so true. There is so much negativity all around. It can really bring us down.
I live with a lot of pain. Every day when I awake, I have to make a choice - to give in to the pain and complain, or to give thanks to God for what I can do. Honestly, I do not always make the better choice. But on the days I chose to praise and thank God for my blessings, I have a brighter day and can encourage others.
I do not want to be a grinch!!!

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