Return To The Old Paths

Have you ever heard someone say, “Boy, we need to get back to the way things were in the good ole’ days.” Well, the good ole days weren’t as good as we often like to think they were but there are somethings about the good ole days that we do need to
return to.
The prophet Jeremiah told Israel they need to “…ask for the old, godly way and walk in it.” What did Jeremiah mean by this statement?
The people of Judah had disobeyed the Lord. And because they had disobeyed the Lord, they are about to be punished. God sent Jeremiah the prophet to warn Judah to return to God. God says to Judah, “Stop at the crossroads and look around. Ask for
the old, godly way, and walk in it. Travel its path, and you will find rest for your souls. But you reply, ‘No, that’s not the road we want!’
Many people are concerned about our nation. In some ways, we have gotten away from things that are good. We need to to return to the old paths as well. What are some paths we need to return to? The path of responsibility. This is a trait that at one time was more common than
today. People took pride in taking responsibility. Not as much anymore. We have a tendency to want to blame others. There is an old saying that “every tub has to sit on its own bottom.” That’s good advice for all of us. Instead of shirking responsibility or wanting to point fingers, we need to be willing to take responsibility.
Second, we badly need to return to the path of civility. Each one of us are different. We think different. We have different political views. It’s called “diversity.” This nation is a diverse land. A little over a year ago, Holli and I traveled to New York City to see
our son. I am a Southerner. But that week, while riding the subway, I realized there are other people in this country. They are just as American as I am but they look and think
differently from me.
Years ago, we were civil to one another. That didn’t mean we agreed on everything but we didn’t argue as much as today. We badly need to return to the old path of civility.
Several years ago, the Kennedy family had a dedication ceremony for some building built in honor of the late Senator, Ted Kennedy. One of the guest speakers was former
Mississippi Senator, Trent Lott. I’ve met Senator Lott. He is as conservative as they come. As he stood to speak, he said, “Some of you are wondering why Trent Lott is
speaking at an event in honor of Ted Kennedy. He was liberal and I’m conservative.”
Then, he said, “Although we had different political philosophies, we were friends and were able to work together to get things done.” That’s called civility. We need much more of it today. Just because someone disagrees with you does not make them a bad person or the enemy.
We need to return to the path of integrity. One of the Ten Commandments is,
“Thou shall not bear false witness.” That refers to lying. Someone referred to another man once and said, “He only lies when his lips are moving.” We should be honest with
one another. Don’t tell a lie… don’t start gossip and don’t repeat gossip.
It’s not good to cling to the past but there are some things about the old paths that are good. Among those are the paths of responsibility, civility and integrity. We need to return to the old paths.

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