A Call To Parents To Walk & Talk Character
Pastor David L. Brown, Ph.D.
Sermon Delivered 5/11/03
"These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: 17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, 19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren." Proverbs 6:16-19
Danger, DANGER, DANGER! There is a character crisis in America! Character and morals are crumbling in America. Moms and dads, if you will stem the tide, you must walk and talk character daily in your homes and guard against your childís exposure to those with corrupt character as mush as possible. Even if you do not have children or your children are grown, you must walk and talk character before your friends, neighbors and the on looking world.
Hate and abomination are powerfully negative words. As we begin this message I want to remind you of the meaning of each of them. To hate means to intensely dislike or to have a great aversion to. Abomination is extreme, loathing, hatred and detestation.
In this passage God is characterized as hating six things, yea, seven, and considering them abominable. In this message we will only have time to look at the first two.
Likely this surprises some that "a proud look" is the first on Godís hate list. However, pride is at the root of many sins and is the precursor to destruction. We read in Proverbs 16:18 "Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall." Another related verse is Proverbs 18:12 "Before destruction the heart of man is haughty, and before honour is humility."
Since this is true, we need to recognize what pride is. Pride is having a high opinion of ones own worth and merit. Pride is an attitude of haughtiness, conceitedness and contempt for others. It is the epitome of self-centeredness. It is contrary to the teachings of the Bible, which tell us we are to consider others better than ourselves (Philippians 2:3; Romans 12:3)
We are told that in the perilous times of the last days the key characteristic of people will be self-love. Perhaps the most graphic illustration of contempt for other is what happened at the Glenbrook North "powder puff" football game. Teenage girls were slapped, punched, kicked, doused with paint, rolled in the mud, and made to eat manure and more. Five girls ended up in the hospital, one with a broken ankle and another who needed 10 stitches in her head. One girl who was interviewed said she did not understand why everyone was making such a big deal about things because "no one got killed."
At the root of this heinous behavior is pride, which shows itself in contempt for others. Let it be known, God hates pride and we should hate what God hates.
I submit to you that getting back to teaching, believing and practicing the golden rule is what must be done! The problem is, that many do not even know what the golden rule is Ė "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you." The basis for this is Luke 6:31 "And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise." We were taught "the golden rule."
Following "the golden rule" is a demonstration of humility! Humility is a character trait that is linked to blessing from the Lord. Proverbs 22:4 "By humility and the fear of the LORD are riches, and honour, and life." Parents must teach and model humility and expose and reject pride in themselves and their children.
Letís move on to the next pointÖ
We are living in times like those spoken of in Isaiahís day. "And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter." Isaiah 59:14
There was a day in this nation when a manís word was his bond, but those days are long gone. Lying permeates all levels of our culture. Lying is one of the abominable evidences of the lack of character that will punctuate the latter times. Paul described it to Timothy as those speaking lies in hypocrisy (1 Timothy 4:2). That phrase means to claim that something is true when they know it is a lie.
Many sins have been dummed down to in order to make them more acceptable. Instead of calling a person a drunk they call them an alcoholic. Instead of calling a sexually immoral person an adulterer or an adulteress they call it having an affair. And instead of calling a person who regularly lies a liar, they just stretched the truth, fib, or put their "spin" on it.
Let me define what lying is. Lying refers to a person who speaks falsehoods, knowingly and willingly, with an intention to deceive others. Further, it may be with the intent to hurt the character of another or flatter with an ulterior motive.
My friends, there is nothing more sacred than truth. The Lord God Almighty is a God truth! Deuteronomy 32:4 says, "He is the Rock, his work is perfect: for all his ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is he."
While the Lord God is the author of truth, remember who the Father of lies is. It is the devil! He is the father of lies (John 8:44). Beloved, listen. There is nothing that makes a person more devil-like than lying. However, lying is popular and particularly fashionable among youth 12 to 15 years old according to a survey done for the YMCA in 1999. The survey found that most younger American teens say that they lie to avoid hurting their parents, to avoid punishment, or because "everyone does it," the poll reveals. The poll said that, in an age when children have less supervision, many learn their values from friends, TV and their own observations but not as often from parents, churches and schools, as parents hope or believe. Why? There are too many Sunday morning Christians. Christianity is not lived at home. There are no family devotions and communication between parents and children is nearly absent.
Thereís more. Michael Josephson, founder and president of the Josephson Institute of Ethics, told the Associated Press that they conducted a study of 8,600 studentsí grades 9 through 12 and found these results:
Now, I am not saying that young people are the only ones who have trouble with lying. Consider the corporate world. Names like Enron, WorldCom, and numerous accounting firms, to name just a few, are populated with liars! Millions of Americans have suffered at their hands! Should we not add to the list Bill Clinton and Martha Stewart?
God will judge liars! Proverbs 19:5 "A false witness shall not be unpunished, and he that speaketh lies shall not escape." The Bible is clear, "Lying lips are abomination to the LORD: but they that deal truly are his delight." Proverbs 12:22 As Christians we must model truthfulness before a lying world! Donít shade the truth, donít spin the truth, but speak the truth in love. The Word says, "Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth with his neighbour: for we are members one of another." Ephesians 4:25
Parents must teach and model truthfulness and expose and reject lying in themselves and their children.
We have just scratched the surface in this message. We
have seen that we must reject pride and walk and talk humility. We must
reject lying and walk and talk truthfulness. These are character traits
that are desperately lacking in our society today. Why? Because our
culture has an aversion to the absolutes taught in the Bible. But, when
biblical absolutes are rejected, a moral vacuum occurs and is filled by
everyone doing what is right in his or her own eyes. Then, the whole
society suffers. May we walk and talk Christian character.