“The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks what is just.”
- Psalm 37:30
In the twelfth chapter of Romans the Apostle Paul wrote what might be considered his treatise on how to conduct our lives. Here are a few nuggets from his epistle: “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind . . . Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought . . . Hate what is evil; cling to what is good . . . Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves . . . Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality. Bless those who persecute you . . . Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position . . . Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody . . . live at peace with everyone . . . Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
No one lived more consistent with Paul’s instruction than my beloved friend and longtime office partner, Jim Webb, who lost his brief but valiant battle recently with a very aggressive cancer. I say he lost his battle because it took his life, but it did not define his life – a full and purposeful one in every way. He was a man on a mission, as his family described, to bring God’s Kingdom on earth. His was a life filled with compassion for others, integrity, generosity, and goodness, full of joy and hope, faithful in prayer. Jim was a man of action who dreamed big dreams and made them happen, but always dreams about helping others and for the good of the others, never himself.
In every sense Jim was a righteous man, full of great wisdom who could utter it in a matter of a few words. But mostly his wisdom was just part of his being in the way he lived. “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news,” the Apostle Paul quotes in Romans 10:15. So it was that Jim Webb brought goodness to every person he touched, as far as his generous and compassionate arms were able to reach, and all who knew him will miss him terribly – God knows I will. But Jim is one of those rare people who left behind an incredible legacy that will not only continue to impact our lives, but will influence generations to come. How beautiful were his feet – his wisdom, his life!