Did you know that the motto of the Cadre of The Army is “Lead by example”? Yup….it was a sign we had on our barracks hallway wall, and every time we would leave he building THAT is what we would see. When they put it up there they were not JUST saying it to the Cadre (Officers and Senior Non-Commissioned Soldiers)…they were saying it to ALL of us.
Now, decades on, even though I am not in the Army I STILL try to follow that motto: Lead By Example
Now, some of you may not get it right now…but trust me, I will explain how an Army Motto can be used by the everyday person.
One of the things they teach you in the Cadre is that you should never ask of your fellow soldiers nothing you YOURSELF would not do.
For instance: If you want a pit dug, don’t just order someone to dig a pit…get a shovel and help them dig!
This has carried over into my civilian life even when I worked in factories. When I attained the level of supervisor I NEVER just said “Go do it”…I strapped on my gloves and HELPED them do it. True, I was the person in charge, but does that give me an excuse NOT to earn my fair day’s wage? No.
My Master’s word is LACED with this motto…only, He puts it in a different light..:
“Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.…” -Matthew 7:1-2
If we apply the same thing to ourselves that ask of others,then how can we NOT lead by example?
As a Cleric the first Disciples set down the law for us to follow in our Master’s steps…
“We work hard with our own hands. When we are cursed, we bless; when we are persecuted, we endure it;when we are slandered, we answer kindly.” – 1 Corinthians 4:12-13a
There is a laundry list of things attached to being a cleric..but I will not go into them all….I merely wish to point out that I APPLY the lessons learned..I take them to heart, I work them into my life, not TRY to find time to do them, or an excuse like “Sure, but that applies to OTHERS”….or “I am not strong enough like this person or that enough to do this”…I try to LIVE the life He called me to.
One of those key things my Master said to His followers is what I have based my entire ‘ministry’ (such as it is) upon…this is found in Mark 12:28-31…
“One of the teachers of the law came and heard them debating. Noticing that Jesus had given them a good answer, he asked him, “Of all the commandments, which is the most important?”
“The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’
The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’
There is no commandment greater than these.”
He also gave us a THIRD commandment to follow…one that SEALS His promise to us….one that BINDS us to Him…
“A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another.
“By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” -John 13:34-35
This is not JUST a ‘Christian’ value…I have read MANY Holy Books from religions across the globe and a single common thread runs through EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM…yes, everything from Zoroastrian all the way down to Zen Buddhism….LOVE ONE ANOTHER.
If we are to call ourselves Christians (or respective other faiths) then we cannot lie to God, or ourselves…we must not just SAY we love one another…we must ACT upon it. The core belief of Christianity is love…Love of God, Love of each other…so, how can we say we love this person ONLY…or that group ONLY?
“Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us and his love is made complete in us.
God is love.
Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.
This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: In this world we are like Jesus
Whoever claims to love God yet hates a brother or sister is a liar.
For whoever does not love their brother and sister, whom they have seen, cannot love God, whom they have not seen.
And he has given us this command: Anyone who loves God must also love their brother and sister.” – 1 John 4:11-12,16b-17,20-21
I see people getting incited to anger over TRIVIAL matters..yet, do I join in?
Do I despise acts of cruelty towards animals, humans, and the world we live in? YOU BET YOUR SWEET BIPPY I DO…but I do not ATTACK others because their opinion differs from mine, nor for some perceived slander, nor because they have “offended/betrayed” me….
I know it is the basic human nature to get angry, heck, I have been PLENTY angry over things I see…BUT I DO NOT ACT UPON MY ANGER/OUTRAGE. I try to bring PEACE..a PEACEABLE solution. I do not wish to see those I have been sent by my Master torn asunder by words hurled in anger or outrage.
The next time you feel your temper boiling over, or feel outraged at some infraction others have done, do not blow your stack…
Why? Because, my Brothers and Sisters…you are SALT…yep.. Salt does not care if it is crushed, or used.. it is a PRESERVATIVE…the FIRST preservative ever used by man.
It kept the moisture at bay, it kept ROT away so things stay PRESERVED…and what are we preserving? OUR VERY SOULS
“You are the salt of the earth.
But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?
It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot.” -Matthew 5:13
My Master made it perfectly clear what we, as His children, as expected to do…
“You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’
But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you,that you may be children of your Father in heaven.
He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.
If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that?
And if you greet only your own people, what are you doing more than others?” -Matthew 5:43-47a
“But” you ask “if we stand by and do nothing THEY WIN!”…not really….see, this is why I myself do not rage and vent and scream at those who say evil, wicked, nasty, hurtful things to me…nor to those who wish me harm…because I know, in the end, there will be a JUDGEMENT.
I do not wish to get up to my Master’s feet and have His gaze look upon me with anger, or sorrow because I led people different from what He told His clerics to do.
I want to say to Him “Master, I have used all you gave me…I have nothing left”
His Word means MORE to me than those of trolls, or people of evil intent…my ETERNITY in His Kingdom means more… the love of my FRIENDS means more.
How could I, the least of these, kneel before Him knowing I had an enmity in my heart against another?
Or that I allowed those who look to me as His cleric to attack each other WITHOUT me saying something about it…without DOING something about it?
How can I approach Him at His Altar in clear conscience with HATRED in my heart, or knowing there are those in my care with hatred in THEIR hearts and NOT speak out about it?…when His law CLEARLY states
“But I tell you that anyone who is angry with a brother or sister will be subject to judgment.
Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar.
First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.” -Matthew 5:22a,23-24
I am trying to show you all there is a BETTER way to handle things that rile you…by LEADING BY EXAMPLE…you see how I scream “PEACE” when I see outraged voices screaming “HATE!”?
You see how I do not decry those who torment me, speak against me, outrage me?
WHY do I not? Because there is ANOTHER WAY….I PRAY FOR THEM.
“For this is the reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to human standards in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the spirit.
Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.
Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.
Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.
If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God.
If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ.” -1 Peter 4:6,8-11b
By lashing out against others it serves no other purpose than to plant the seeds of hatred into the heart. The next time someone gets to you, it will be that much EASIER for you to grow angry, and again easier the next time, and the next….until anger is all you become.
You, in effect, become all that you hate.
If you want love, you BECOME love…you SHOW love… if you want understanding, then you BECOME understanding. Eventually these things replace the nasty negative things you WERE becoming with something much much more important…you become a LEADER. People see YOU standing there calm and collected, not getting ruffled, or outraged, and THEY rally behind you.
This is why I will not take one side or the other in a conflict.
I took a side once…and after fighting for that side for a LONG length of time believing that what I was doing was for the good of all humanity I found out that what I WAS doing was to further ANOTHER person’s power and corruption. I, basically, became the hand of corruption.
So when you see something that riles you, outrages, or you feel “deceived” or let down…WALK AWAY FROM IT.
To engage in attacking another only serves ONE person..the person who is trying to gather as many other corrupt, angry, evil intent people that they can for THEIR OWN glory and power…be a LEADER and LEAD PEOPLE AWAY FROM IT…not continue to incite and revile.
In the end, when you have practiced peace long enough, you will see you have become PEACEFUL…inside, and outside..with yourself, and those around you… and in the end you will find it is YOUR soul you save.