Be About Doing GoodJun 26th, 2015 | By Sharon Shaw Elrod MSW EdD | Category: Senior Moments Blog
Good Thoughts Are Not Enough
An interesting post appeared on Facebook recently that caught our eye. It was a poster that said, “We will never change the world by going to church. We will only change the world by being the church.” (emphasis added) If we knew the author, she/he would be credited here.
We have all known dozens of people in our lives who attend the church/synagogue/mosque of their choice, and profess their deep faith openly… and then their actions don’t match up with
their words. It almost borders on lying. Not telling the truth. It’s like the five year old bully on the playground professing he didn’t mean to hurt his playmate when he roughly pushed the younger, smaller child to the ground. “I’m a good kid who was only playing.”
Adults, in this case, profess their deep faith in a universe-creating God/Allah/Jehovah who loves everyone and requires the same of us. And then they behave in very un-loving ways toward people who are different, have different skin colors, different religions, different lifestyles. It’s as though being ‘different’ excuses the un-loving behavior and makes it all right.
Listening to Our Religious Leaders
The really great religious leaders (both current and past) have been so clear about the issue of doing vs. believing. Believing just isn’t enough. It’s in the doing that our lives take on meaning, that our true faith gets expressed. We not talking about ‘buying’ your way into heaven (being ‘saved’) with good works. That’s another article for another day. The focus of doing good works here is in the realm of living a meaningful life that is congruent with what you believe.
Some (non-religious) leaders in today’s world did a really good thing this week. Their stated faith-beliefs matched up to their actions. Leaders in Southern states took down the Confederate flag because it was such an in-your-face symbol of an unpardonable life of slavery imposed on people just because their skin color was different. The flag represented a period of American history that is shameful; it is a symbol of terrorism. And now Southern states are beginning to take that symbol down. They are being the church.
That flag has no place in a country that professes faith in a Universal Creator we call God.
Dr Sharon Shaw Elrod