Monday, 10 April 2017

Find Ways to Serve Others

                By Bayo Ogunmupe
      Ronald Wilson Reagan was the 40th president of the United States. By his astute diplomacy and humility he was able to dismember the Soviet Union thereby turning the world to a unipolar globe dominated by the United States. He was arguably the greatest U. S. president in the 20th century. When he was governor of California, Reagan sometimes slipped out of his office; telling his chief of staff Michael Deaver, "I have few errands to run." Deaver became curious, so he leafed through the "to read file' on the governor's desk. On top was a wrinkled letter from a man stationed in Vietnam. 
      The soldier had written to Reagan telling him about his life in Southeast Asia; and how much he missed his wife. That particular day was their wedding anniversary and he wanted her to know how much he loved her and longed to be with her. Although he had already sent her a card, he asked the governor if he could make a phone call to make sure she was okay and pass on his love in case she didn't receive the card. The next day Deaver discovered Reagan had done much more than the soldier requested. He had picked up a dozen red roses and delivered them to the man's wife. Dale Rowlee, the governor's driver told Deaver that Reagan approached the woman with extreme humility and offered the flowers on behalf of her loving husband stationed in the jungle on the other side of the world.
      Then Reagan spent an hour with her, drinking coffee and talking about her family. Reagan's humility may, in fact, have been one of the secrets of his enduring popularity. To be humble to superiors is duty, to equals, courtesy; to inferiors, nobility. It is not by deeds, but small acts of kindness that make us great as God counts greatness. Finding ways to serve others like this are sacrifices God is pleased with. Maintaining an unimpeachable integrity is yet another way to please God. "The integrity of the upright guides them," Proverbs 11:3. The word integrity derives from Latin word, integer, a mathematical cliche meaning whole as opposed to a fraction. So when you walk in integrity, you tell the whole truth, not just a fraction of it. That is why we take an oath in court to tell "the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, so help me God."
      Sometimes, we slant the truth, embellish it and tell half-truths, just for financial gain. At other times, for social advantage. And sometimes, it is to hide our actions. Jacob whose name means- trickster, conspired with his mother and deceived his father into giving him the birthright of the firstborn- twice as much of their father's inheritance which rightfully belonged to his older brother Esau.
      And Jacob paid dearly for it. He spent the next fourteen years as a fugitive working for his father-in-law, who was an even bigger and better cheat than Jacob. Finally in despair, Jacob had an encounter with God and heard these words: "I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go.....I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you," Genesis 28:15. That day Jacob's value system changed and the taker became a giver. He told God, "Of all that you give me I will give you a tenth," Genesis 28:22. Thereafter, God blessed him beyond his wildest dreams. He returned home with a beautiful family, great riches and a new name- Israel. The truth is: integrity pays dividends every time because Jehovah guarantees it.

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