Wednesday, June 14, 2017
We hear from a new church father today... Aristides. He tells us about loud foolishness and quiet wisdom in A Year with the Church Fathers.
His take home lesson is that the world we know today exists because of the prayers of God's people. The way he says it makes it sound like he means the physical world... and maybe that's true. But we can certainly agree that the world wouldn't be like it is today without the fervent, effectual prayers of righteous people throughout the ages.
But he brings up another subject that I think is worth remembering. We tend to think of the world as a horrible place. There are lots of reasons for this. We are inundated every second with all of the things that are going wrong in the world. If someone is shot anywhere in the world, we know about it within seconds. Terrorists have tons of help from modern media in making sure that the whole world is terrified every time someone yells and detonates their explosive vest.
Another reason we think this is because evil screams. We hear from the VERY vocal minority on so many moral issues that we become convinced we are the only ones who believe in goodness anymore. If a thousand clergymen go about their days doing good and helping people, you don't hear anything about it. If one clergyman does something wrong, it is instantly broadcast all over the world.
So it's important for us to remember what Jesus taught us. To not let our right hand know what our left is doing. To do good in private, not bragging about our good in shouts to the world. It's important to remember this, because then it reminds us that there are thousands... maybe even millions... who knows? We can't know... of people out there quietly going about their business, doing good and helping people, every day. They don't stand on the rooftops and shout about their goodness. They just do it.
Remember them the next time you get discouraged by the evil all around you. In this world, you WILL have trouble, there's no doubt. But take heart.
He has overcome the world.
God, thank You for overcoming the world with the quiet goodness of millions of people.