William Payne Stewart was a three time major champion on the Professional Golf Association tour. Stewart’s life was cut short at the age of 42, dying in a plane crash after the crew succumb to hypoxia. Early on in his golfing career, Stewart developed a reputation for being arrogant, brash and cocky. Following the death of his father, Stewart began to contemplate the meaning of life. According to his widow Tracey, Payne began to ponder his impact beyond golf. This journey led Stewart to commit his life to Christ in his final years on earth. During a conversation with his son, Payne inquired about the bracelet Aaron was wearing. WWJD is an acronym for what would Jesus do? This simple question helped Payne maintain dignity for the remainder of his life on earth.
Whoever strikes you on the cheek, offer him the other one also [simply ignore insignificant insults or losses and do not bother to retaliate—maintain your dignity]. Whoever takes away your coat, do not withhold your shirt from him either, Luke 6:29.
Unfortunately, dignity in the realm of politics is a dying breed. In an attempt to win at all costs, allegations, campaign ads and debate clashes has turned political mud slinging into scenes from a Jerry Springer Show brawl. Daily tweets from President Trump slamming one of his enemies only adds fuel to this fiery climate. While independent studies have regularly found that ninety percent of articles, media coverage and news stories are negative, leaders must set the tone. Participating in these endless back and forth disputes only distract from the president’s agenda. Thus, at some point government officials must bite their tongues, practice self-control and walk away from the temptation to retaliate.
Give to everyone who asks of you. Whoever takes away what is yours, do not demand it back. 31 Treat others the same way you want them to treat you, Luke 6:30-31.
During his Sermon on the Mount, Jesus introduces a concept to help individuals maintain dignity. Following the golden rule, “doing to others as you want other to do unto you,” urges people to reflect upon each situation, putting yourself into their shows. As you begin to think before you act, you will hopefully start treating others the way you expect and want to be treated. My prayer is that president Trump will be open to following this biblical concept. Although this may be foreign to his career as a builder and entrepreneur, displaying the golden rule could put out many of the political fires presently blazing out of control. I’m not sure what the future holds, but if you want to maintain dignity, following the golden rule will turn enemies into friends.
by Jay Mankus