I received an email late this past week from Brother John L. Cash who regularly writes under the name "Country Preacher Dad" for a devotional website called Devotion in Motion. Brother John forwarded me a link to a devotion he had recently written about sincerity. His work can be read below or you can feel free to read Brother John's original post. Many thanks for sharing, John.
Devotion in Motion: The Real Deal
“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” Matthew 5:16 (NKJV)
By Bro. John L. Cash, “Country Preacher Dad”
If your house caught on fire, what would you grab? (We’re assuming that the rest of the family and the baby pictures are safe.) Susan says that she would grab my anti-snore sleep apnea machine, because she can’t get any sleep when I don’t have it. I would grab the letter I got from Fred Rogers. You know, Mr. Rogers, of “Mister Rogers Neighborhood.”
When I was in Bible college, back in the early 1980’s, I once found myself in charge of “Spiritual Emphasis Week”. It was my job to plan activities to revive our spirits and to schedule a special guest speaker. For this task I had a budget of $50. So, here was my thinking: “Let’s see, I need a preacher to come and speak. He needs to be somebody really impressive. I don’t have any money to pay him, so he’ll have to be somebody really nice. Hmm. Mr. Rogers is a Presbyterian minister, and he is famous. And he’s really nice. I think I’ll write him a letter.” So, I did.
Imagine my surprise, when less than a week later, I received two envelopes in the mail. One contained two autographed photographs of Fred Rogers—signed personally to me! The other contained a letter from the man himself—handwritten in his distinctive left-handed slanting script.
What Mr. Rogers wrote in that letter warmed my heart. He regretted that he couldn’t come to Spiritual Emphasis Week, but that if he was ever in the area he would drop by for a visit. (I believe he would have.) He wished me grace and peace in my life—and pointed out that the letter was written on a greeting card with the trolley and all the puppets from the Land of Make Believe. He wrote that he had chosen this card because the cards were new and the office had just gotten them in; he thought I might like one. I did.
The famous people that I have admired have often disappointed me upon closer examination. When you check the facts closely, celebrities are often the complete opposite of the good roles they play on screen. But I have not found that to be so with Mr. Rogers. I’ve read everything I can find about this man as well as everything I’ve found that he has written. My conclusion is that he was the real deal. One interviewer said, “In real life, he’s more Mr. Rogers than ‘Mr. Rogers.’” How surprising in this age in which we live! A man who has the reputation of being kind who actually IS kind!
I have more to say about the importance of the ideas of Fred Rogers, but that will have to keep until another time. Today I just want to point out the power (and great scarcity) of sincerity. As parents, our children sometimes doubt what we say, but they are never mistaken about who we are. So, let us strive to be genuine. That’s not the same as being perfect, because sometimes being genuine means we tell our kids, “Hey, I messed up.” Our job as parents is to try to be “the real deal” and to strive to make sure our “real deal” is something good.
In today’s lesson text (at the top) Jesus said we should let our lights shine so that people will glorify God. Dear Mamas, let’s pray this week that the Lord will fill our hearts with His Light and that the sincerity of our lives will brighten the lives of our babies and all the world around us.