Sunday, November 27, 2011

27th November

Well today’s been a bit of a yawn. Certainly not boring, but I didn’t get to sleep until around 3am so I’m rather tired in a sleepy sort of way which makes a change from just feeling ill. I put myself out for a good deed though having offered to do the dad’s taxi thing at 1am for my wonderful eldest who deserved a night out with friends. And that makes me feel useful, which is good. Unfortunately I had to get up for the early morning church service at 9.15am and that really was pushing myself, but I made it… just. The two duplicate morning meetings thing seems to be working quite well as overall numbers are well up which is encouraging. Anyway it’s been a good day so far.

My youngest daughter came for lunch and that’s always nice, as I was able to spend an engaging hour discussing the Lord Justice Leveson enquiry into media practice and ethics. So should those in the public eye be held publicly accountable for their very private behaviour? I tend to think they should. But should the so called tabloid press be allowed to sensationalise, exaggerate and often invent stories without being called to account themselves? I think not. But what possesses us to take an almost perverse pleasure in reading the gory details of apparent misbehaviour anyway? I really don’t want to hear about it, not in detail anyway as it makes me feel very unclean. And I can’t really imagine the circumstances needed to cause me to buy such a publication.

But there is a world of difference between the excellent journalism exposing the parliamentary expenses scandal and the very public and destructive intrusion into the McCann and Dowler families. Neither of these quite innocent and tragically bereaved sets of parents has even faced prosecution, nor been convicted of crimes related to the loss of their respective child, and yet all sorts of horrible things were done and written for the sake of newspaper sales. To me financial compensation and a public retraction is not enough and neither is a criminal conviction for a lone reporter or two. I’m pleased one of the worst offenders has had to close it’s business but there ought to be a change of culture right across the board. No matter what recommendations come out of this enquiry that’s not going to happen any time soon.

But the fact of the matter is that we all without exception have a private life that we would at best be embarrassed and more likely horrified to have exposed in a public arena. Despite my good intentions and firm resolve, I know that my most private thoughts and probably some of the things I have done over the years are really not fit for a public airing. And though my life may have been lived within the law - apart from the occasional slip over the speed limit when driving - I ought to be living to a higher standard. I hate myself when I’ve just been cut up on the road and all I can think of is how I can return the favour at the next junction! I worked in sales, giving financial advice over many years, with time constraints which demanded that I learn to control conversations to maintain focus. I have no right to use those skills today, manipulation and control should have no place in my life, but long term habits are sometimes hard to change. I no longer have time constraints or an employer to determine my agenda, I can chill, it’s ok for others to talk about whatever they want. And Jesus says quite clearly that even just looking at a woman lustfully is seen by God as bad as actually committing adultery. Averting my eyes is a battle I’ll face for the rest of my life when confronted by the seductive and immodest sensuality of the Godless society we live in. God’s way is not our way, his thoughts are not our thoughts and he commands us to live perfectly as Christ Jesus did. Of course we can’t do that, we all fail, but it is something we should all be working towards for sure if we want to please him. And in his strength, step by step, day by day we can make progress. Sometimes one step forward, two steps back, but ultimately with perseverance and his grace we can get there. Sin has no claim upon my life, it’s power is broken through the work of Christ.

Luke 12:2-3 ‘The time is coming when everything that is covered up will be revealed, and all that is secret will be made known to all. Whatever you have said in the dark will be heard in the light, and what you have whispered behind closed doors will be shouted from the housetops for all to hear!’ (NLT)

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