April 15th, 2013 11:29 EST
Children of Quality: Children Are God's Apostles
"Children are God`s apostles, sent forth, day by day, to preach love and hope and peace." - Jane Russell Lowell
In the days of old, beyond recall, in the Southern parts of America, old Negro mammies raised little white upper class children, tending to their many needs. These mammies loved their wards; and the children returned their affection, so much so each good mammy would willingly make any sacrifice for her chile. She ensured that her chile was trained well and taught what was right and wrong. To make her point, she would admonish the child: Chillun of quality don`t do that. And to praise her little one she would say: Chillun of quality do that. She set her chillun high standards and expected them to live up to them. In her own way she was stating her belief that she would not oversee low white thrash. They had to grow up to be fine young men and women. When they did mammy would smile with pride " she had done a fine job. In the classic, Gone with the Wind, this relationship is lucidly described.
If this is the story of the White children of the South in the days gone by, what about us, who are children of God? Are we children of quality? Will God pay us that compliment? Since God is our parent, who loves us more than any earthly parent can or will, we owe it to Him that we live up to our Royal Heritage; that we do not besmirch our lineage. How do we do that?
1) Children of quality love and respect their parents. Does He find a place in the soundless depths of our love? Are we proud that He is our Father? Do we acknowledge Him before others who deny His existence or pay Him scant respect? Do we defend Him against those who denigrate and falsely accuse Him? Do we raise His banner against the trappings of sin? Do we know that He is just a prayer away? Is He the center of our lives? Like a pool of water that reflects the noonday sun, do our lives reflect His goodness?
2) Children of quality obey their parents. Do we obey God`s law imprinted in us? Instead, do we try to rationalize and make excuses for our errant behavior? Do we break His law on the slightest pretext because He is Infinitely forgiving? Loving children accept instructions from their parents, not out of fear, but out of love? How do we respond to God`s word?
3) Children of quality live clean and pure lives. Do we soil our souls with impurity, vulgar and obscene words and actions? Do we lead others into temptation and sin? Do we flirt with dangerous liasons? Nothing " without our consent " can dim the beauty that shines in our clean lives.
4) Children of quality will not lie and cheat. We can gain the trust of others when we refuse to lie and cheat. Even when there is no danger of being caught, we will shun what is not true. Even when the deal is attractive, we will not dilute, distort or delete the truth. Honesty is not just the best policy; it is the only policy.
5) Children of quality will be kind and thoughtful of others. How do others perceive us - as exploiters, as selfish brutes, as crude and unfeeling people? Or, do they see us as those who are compassionate, willing to give, to share and to lighten the burdens of others? Real love converts good intentions into good actions. That is when the massive chains of habit are weak in holding captive the spirit of sacrifice " when the winds of love beneath our wings snap those chains and carry us higher. We know that love is never lost. If it is not reciprocated it will flow back to soften and purify the heart of the giver, which bleeds for those whose tears lie in their hearts like frozed rain.
6) Children of quality will not stoop to conquer. Do we uphold standards of integrity, charity and brotherhood only when it is convenient; when it is easy? Do we make compromises to gain money, to enjoy pleasure and to become famous? Or, do we refuse to stoop? Do we experience the thrill of living our convictions, of not lowering our standards, no matter what the attraction? The quality of our happiness will depend on the quality of our thoughts.
Perhaps we have erred. Like the prodigal son let us return to our Father and beg His forgiveness. Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you; I am no longer worthy to be called your son; treat me like one of your hired hands. Luke 15: 18-19. Then like the prodigal Father, He will take us into His huge embrace and call for a celebration, for truly we are His children.
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