By SCOT THIGPEN
Living Your Life with A High Purpose
Can we agree that our country has come loose from its moral mooring?
William J. Bennett writes in the introduction to The Book of Virtues: A Treasury of Great Moral Stories, the following. “It has been said that there is nothing more influential, more determinant, in a child’s life than the moral power of quiet example. For children to take morality seriously they must be in the presence of adults who take morality seriously. And with their own eyes they must see adults take morality seriously.” He goes on to explain the benefits of moral literacy training of children.
Maybe it is high time to dust off books like this, but does it stop there?
It is true that there is a critical need of character development. Honesty, compassion, courage, and perseverance are becoming lost virtues. Parents need to lead in this area. Bennett is correct that there was a day that “virtually all schools and homes and churches once taught to students for the sake of shaping character.”
However, what is character and morality based in? It is grounded in the revealed truth that entered human history some 2000 years ago, in Immanuel, God with us. There is a reality and an absolute truth that exists, and we have the benefit of that truth being revealed to mankind.
The gospel of John says it this way, ”In the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the Word was God…In him was life, and the life was the light of men…And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, full of grace and truth.” So what of it?
It means that we know why we exist, what our purpose is, how to find real meaning in the one and only life we have been blessed with. It means that we have the Bible, the Word of God, that is a living Word. It points us to the source of life. It contains the words of life. It teaches the way of life. It instructs based on the holiness of God and his character. And it reveals the center of all reality—Jesus Christ. It invites the whole world into a life-changing relationship with God through faith in Jesus, the revealed Word of God.
Country music legend Charlie Daniels has a song that states, “You know what’s wrong with the world today, peoples done gone and put their Bibles away…” I think ole Charlie is right on with that assessment.
Are you concerned about the moral decline that exists? Don’t put that Bible away. Wonder what would happen if each of us took it upon ourselves to find just one child (or adult) and read through the Bible with them? What if instead of just finding one child (or adult), we found twelve and we shared the Word and shared life together with them? What would that generation of kids look like when they were the adults in the world? Imagine what it would do to us as we did this.
Jesus showed us his model for this kind of Discipleship in his years of ministry. Then he left us with the command to go and do likewise. It is known as the Great Commission. There is no higher purpose.
Scot Thigpen is president of The Thigpen Group, a Wealth Advisory Firm in Jackson, MS. He is married to the former Kimberly Inkster and they are parents of two sons and attend Christ United Methodist Church. Contact Scot at Scot@thethigpengroup.com.