“He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” – Micah 6:8
According to an acquaintance of mine, when he was thirteen years old his father insisted he memorize the twelfth chapter of the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Romans. Here are a few nuggets of wisdom from that 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.” What amazing wisdom, I have thought many times since hearing that story, for a parent to pass along to a child!
Recently I had the opportunity to read renowned author and historian, David McCullough’s newest book, The Spirit of America. Of particular interest to me was a commencement address McCullough had delivered at Ohio University to the graduating class of 2004. Here are a few nuggets of wisdom from that speech: “Never forget that one of the greatest of our freedoms is the freedom to think for yourself . . . Read. Read poetry, read biography, read the great literature that has stood the test of time. Read history . . . When bad news is riding high and despair in fashion, when loud mouths and corruption seem to own center stage, when some keep crying that the country is going to the dogs, remember itâ€™s always been going to the dogs in the eyes of some, and that 90 percent, or more, of the people are good people, generous-hearted, law-abiding, good citizens who get to work on time, do a good job, love their country, pay their taxes, care about their neighbors, care about their children’s education, and believe rightly, as do you, in the ideals upon which our way of life is founded . . .”
The ancient principles for living are still the same. Over two millennia before David McCullough and centuries before St. Paul, the Prophet Micah summed it up this way, “To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” Amazing wisdom!