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Lady Liberty    From My Utmost for His Highest

Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free . . . —Galatians 5

Today, Chambers said, “A spiritually-minded person will never come to you with the demand—‘Believe this and that’; a spiritually-minded person will demand that you align your life with the standards of Jesus.”

What does it mean to “align yourself with the standards of Jesus?”{Tweet} Well, it starts with . . .

. . . belief in Who Jesus is. Consider this excerpt from A Rooster Once Crowed:

It matters what you believe. {Tweet}

Flannery O’Conner was a young, southern American, gothic writer and National Book Award winner, who died at the age of 39. In her short story, A Good Man Is Hard to Find, O’Conner paints a picture of a hardened criminal, called “The Misfit,” who takes a family hostage on a country road. As all sorts of unspeakable atrocities are taking place against the family, the self-righteous grandmother tries to talk her way out of things. When things get entirely hopeless…

… [the grandmother] found herself saying, “Jesus, Jesus,” meaning, Jesus will help you, but the way she was saying it, it sound as if she might be cursing.

“Yes’m,” The Misfit said as if he agreed. “Jesus thrown everything off balance. It was the same case with Him as with me except He hadn’t committed any crime and they could prove I had committed one because they had the papers on me… Jesus was the only One that ever raised the dead.” The Misfit continued, “and He shouldn’t have done it. He thrown everything off balance. If He did what He said, then it’s nothing for you to do but throw away everything and follow Him, and if He didn’t, then it’s nothing for you to do but enjoy the few minutes you got left the best way you can—by killing somebody or burning down his house or doing some other meanness to him. No pleasure but meanness,” he said and his voice had become almost a snarl.

Javert had a great deal of belief in the wrong thing, and it was his undoing. But The Misfit slices the issue cleanly—believe in what Jesus did, or do not. This may seem like a line drawn too finely between good and evil, but—without Jesus and the sacrifice that He brought, without the call to obey from our great Creator, without the promise of eternal life—is it? Is The Misfit really that far off base?

If Jesus didn’t do what He said He did, then what’s to keep each and every one of us from following our own greatest pleasure at all times? {Tweet}

One might say yes but, in order for society as a whole to experience the greatest pleasure, we should come together to form rules for ethical living. The peace of the community is an ultimate goal, right?


Who erected community peace as a goal? Without a set of standards that are above my own—the law, say—then each individual has no requirement to adhere to them. A group could break off, and decide that they want to live under a set of rules to benefit the community but in the absence of the Law written on their hearts, the minute that one of the rules is counter to the individual, community begins to unravel. Before you know it, there’s, “nothing for you to do but enjoy the few minutes you got left the best way you can—by killing somebody or burning down his house or doing some other meanness to him.”

EXCERPTED FROM A Rooster Once Crowed: A Commentary on the Greatest Story Ever Told, Chapter 9—Tune into Life’s Belief (pgs. 130-134). AVAILABLE FORMATS are linked at Full Porch Press.

Begin at belief early and often. There’s no better place to start.

I love you.


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