To say that yesterday’s note on "Honorary" degrees set off a firestorm of protest and some outright shameful names attributed to little ole me, is understatement. For a man or in two cases a woman to use such language is but to prove my point; of what use is an honorary degree from a well meaning or even pseudo Christian organization if the heart is not right as witnessed by the pen, which is but an extension of the empty hearted tongue?
The old Greek, Aristotle stated it well from the perspective of the world in his summation concerning honor:
"Dignity does not consist in possessing honors, but in deserving them."
For years honest clergymen have taught their flock that bestowing a title such as deacon, elder or even pastor on a person does not in some magical way also bestow the spiritual fortitude that will assuredly be needed in the proper exercise of the office. The office does not make the person, but the person the office.
I do hope that my fellow Christian brothers and sisters will understand that I could care less about how many honorary degrees you may hang on your wall. Paul Harvey has drawers full of them and yet never mentions them as he lets his work speak for itself. For years I had several certificates of honor hanging on the walls of my office and watched as others drooled at the impressive sight. Over the years it dawned on me that most of them represented institutions that I would under no circumstance recommend to a young person. Being the thickhead that I am this migration from success at any cost to a deep inner desire for reality took too many years. I still recall the sense of relief that flooded my soul when I took them down and on all publications, resumes, even stationary stopped using any of the terms associated with them. I am in no way suggesting that you do the same as for many, honor among men, is all you have or want.
If on the other hand you are in possession of honors from groups that you are in agreement with, that are what they appear to be and Christ is honored, even above political persuasion, I would find nothing wrong with such. And I certainly grasp the truth that what I think does not amount to a snap of the finger. When all is said and done, the old question rises and whispers, "What would Jesus do?" How will you feel about this honor on THAT day?
George Mueller wrote:
"It ill becomes the servant to seek to be rich, and great, and honored in that world where his Lord was poor, and, mean and despised."
One of the stated purposes of these dailies is "Think." If these rants cause the old oatmeal in your head to steam up a wee bit, then my living or in this case writing is not in vain.
Larry Lilly Copyright (C) 2007 Use with credit.
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