Forty-seven years ago Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech was a powerful force in awakening our nation to the horrible sin of racism. But it took much more than an exquisite speech for America to begin to change. It took courage; it took time and money; it took an undying commitment to God and His moral absolutes. And for Dr. King, it ended up taking his life.
It is fitting that hundreds of thousands of people descended on Washington, DC this past weekend to answer the call to restore that kind of honor to America's soul. Glenn Beck will tell you that he was not the visionary - that he was rather, merely an instrument God used to inspire us to restore honor to our nation by practicing faith, hope and charity in our daily lives.
And use him God did.
I was among the crowd that participated in what may very well become a national awakening to the vision of freedom and equality held by Dr. King - and of Abraham Lincoln before him - and of our Founding Fathers before him - and of America's earliest preachers before them - and of the Pilgrims and many others before them.
The very idea of freedom and equality came from God. But many Americans seem to have lost faith in God and in his moral absolutes. We have become selfish and slothful, trading in the timeless values of hard work, personal responsibility, sacrifice and duty for what is expedient, convenient and temporary. The evidence? Racism is still alive and well in many hearts. Abortion on demand, without apology through the ninth month of pregnancy; the victimization of human beings through the massive consumption of pornography; a government which is stealing the livelihood and money of our children before they are even old enough to earn it; a nation of fractured families and failing marriages. We are losing our national honor.
Restore honor: Teach your family the meaning of faith, hope and charity
Faith: The first step in restoring honor is to honor God. And the way you honor God is by placing your faith in Him to the extent that you commit your life to his service. Hebrews 11:1 defines faith as: "the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." But it is in context of the entire chapter that we come to understand that when we place our undying faith in God, we can accomplish great things. Read the entire chapter to your family tonight. And then point to people in our time who have accomplished great things in the face of insurmountable odds by being people of faith.
Hope: When we place our hope in God, when our dreams and hopes are for the things of God, then we can be instruments in making those hopes and dreams real in the lives of other people. Take equality as an example: God created all men equal. It's people - fallen people - that have had trouble through the ages practicing his concept of equality. If we are to help advance the principle so that it applies to people of all ages, colors, and physical conditions then we must never ever give up our hope that God can bring it to pass. To truly understand that the only real hope rests in God, read any of Psalms, but Psalm 33:22 sums it up: "Let thy mercy, O Lord, be upon us, according as we hope in thee."
Charity: God's most important commandments are to love Him with all your heart, soul and mind; and to love your neighbor as yourself. The entire Bible is the story of God's unrelenting love for mankind. May we live each day to expand our hearts to have that kind of love for Him and for others. That is the purpose for practicing faith when times are tough; for clinging to hope when all is dark.
That is the beginning of true honor.