The Distinction of Duty

Duty

Number three in a Sunday series on virtue

The oath of the Boy Scouts of America reads,

On my honor, I will do my best
To do my duty to God and my country and to obey the Scout Law;
To help other people at all times;
To keep myself physically strong, mentally awake and morally straight.

This quote is probably the best application in words of what the virtue of duty requires of anyone, even if they aren’t a boy scout. Duty is defined in the Merriam-Webster online dictionary in many ways as the word can even mean a form of import tax.

However, as it applies to individual action, Merriam-Webster defines duty concisely as,

…a moral or legal obligation

In other words, it is conduct that one does out of a sense of responsibility and commitment to what one believes is right and moral. The Boy Scout oath is a good framework for examining dutiful action.

Duty to God

Worship and respectThe ultimate duty to recognize is the duty to God. It is first in both order and importance.

Today it is also the least recognized duty among the populace. One metric that is relevant here is church attendance in the nation.

The Barna research group reveals that the vast majority of Americans identify as Christian. Similar numbers also state that their faith is important or very important in their lives.

However, as the saying goes, ‘actions speak louder than words.’ The percentage drops precipitously when the numbers turn to those who actually attend church on a fairly regular basis.

When a self-identified Christian attends a religious service at least once a month and says their faith is very important in their life, Barna considers that person a “practicing Christian.” After applying this triangulation of affiliation, self-identification and practice, the numbers drop to around one in three U.S. adults (31%) who fall under this classification. Barna researchers argue this represents a more accurate picture of Christian faith in America, one that reflects the reality of a secularizing nation.

Granted, this is somewhat of a subjective measurement. In modern practice, attending a ‘religious service’ can mean doing so with a group in an online setting.

Church empty

 

 

The picture is even bleaker when European nations are considered.

The Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary predicts that five years from now, the number of Christians in Western Europe will have fallen by almost 23 percent since 1970. And actual attendance is abysmal, with less than 2 percent of the population darkening the door of a church on a regular basis in Britain, France, or Germany.

These figures should not be taken as encompassing all that is rightly considered duty and devotion to God. However, they are disturbing trends which should serve as a warning to America and the world.

Duty to Country

A duty to one’s country includes a plethora of other duties which support this obligation. For example, it might include a general duty to obey the laws, or pay your taxes, or to vote.

For those Christians who embrace their duty to God, those general duties to God are commanded in the New Testament. Romans chapter 13 is one famous passage attesting to that,

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval Romans 13:1-3 [ESV]

Beyond that, duty to country also includes items such as the urging of Scripture to pray for our leadership.

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Savior, 1 Timothy 2:1-3 [ESV]

patriotismDuty to a country is most often symbolized by the epithet of patriotism and recognized most often by military service. Yet, the idea of a “peaceful and quiet life” prevailing in a national sense requires the critical duty to provide for loved ones and family as well.

The reason providing for the family and loved ones is so important is simple. Unless the family unit can prosper in any nation, the nation itself will fall into tyranny and ruin.

Duty to Others

The next important duty is our duty as individuals to be of help to others as much as we can. This duty can be easily misunderstood as simply giving charity to those in need.

However, though charity is important, it is only one aspect of helping those around us. It includes other factors such as helping our employer by performing our tasks to the best of our ability.

The most profound manifestation of duty to others is to aid and advocate for those whom the Bible calls, ‘the least of these,’ among us. This is fleshed out by Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 25:31-46.

Inset.image.4.10.28.2018In the passage, Jesus states some specific actions which characterize duties to those not as fortunate as we may be. He says these acts include feeding the hungry, welcoming strangers, visiting the sick and those in prison, and clothing the naked.

What is often misunderstood is that duty to others rests upon the individual and not on the government. It is not fulfilling one’s duty to demand that the state care for the needy.

That attitude prevails in socialistic society and it can seem to be a good thing. However, it represents placing personal responsibility on others to help others, which is simply a shirking of duty.

Duty to Oneself

The final duty is the duty to oneself. This is the most misidentified duty of all in modern culture.

The order and conception of this duty is essentially correct in the Boy Scout oath. It says one should strive to be fit and healthy in body, mind, and morals.

PrideYet, in modern society, the idea of caring for or improving yourself have been inflated to the position of the first of all ‘duties.’ I have heard and read many philosophical statements and much religious preaching which promote this concept.

It is a concept at odds with God’s Word. And eventually, it leads to destructive ego-mania tearing themselves and others apart.

The movement toward exalted “self-esteem,” and “self-image” today lends itself toward arrogance in its adherents. A dangerous arrogance that makes self an idol worshiped by a fool.

The Scouts have it right because they are in agreement with the teachings of Scripture. Jesus put it this way,

And he sat down and called the twelve. And he said to them, “If anyone would be first, he must be last of all and servant of all.” Mark 9:35 [ESV]

Jesus is teaching about humility here. Humility is what makes room for grace in life.

But he gives more grace. Therefore it says, “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” James 4:6 [ESV]

Christ as servantDuty to oneself does not mean inflating your self-esteem like an ego balloon. To paraphrase the late Dr. D.James Kennedy, “God doesn’t want to give you self-esteem, He wants to give you Christ-esteem.

Christ’s example for us to follow is to serve others, to think of them before ourselves. It is not to think less of ourselves, it is rather to think of ourselves less and others more.

That is the essence of the virtue of duty. To serve God, Country, Others, and Self as best we can.

Next week we will examine the virtue of patience.

D.T. Osborn

Sources: The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, Crossway Bibles, 2001

Featured and Top Image courtesy of Renee Prisble’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 1 courtesy of Basie Martins’ Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 2 courtesy of Jules & Jenny’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 3 courtesy of Kevin’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 4 courtesy of Tommy Truong79’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 5 courtesy of Ugg Boy, Ugg Girl’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image 6 courtesy of J. Stephen Conn’s Flickr page – Creative Commons License

All other sources linked or cited in the text.

First published at TIL Journal 

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What are people saying?

What are people saying?
About what is happening
In this country?
What are people saying?
About the leaders of
Our country?
What are people saying?
About the abuse
Of human rights?
What are people saying?
About violence
Against women?
What are people saying?
About the rigging
Of elections?
What are people saying
About corruption
And exploitation of man
By man?
What are people saying?
Throw some light.

Rainy Days & Runaway Cows

So I posted on my blog, acliddle.blog, yesterday that was unable to walk due to rain and the migraine that came with it.

Today it is still raining and while I do not feel sick, I have lost my voice, and I am fatigued.

Rather than another missed post I thought I would tell a couple of stories about loose cows.

I am not sure how they got out but in both cases their escapes were precipitated by…well precipitation..rain, and storms. I am not sure if the cows became restless or what but there it is.

The first story: I was driving home from work, on the backroads through the country. Ahead of me I saw three cars in the on coming lane with their flashers on. Then I saw in my lane, heading towards me a what looked to be pregnant cow. I was able to get around her, for she was not to be detoured from her path. Further down the road I saw the possible pasture she had escaped from. Then I noticed in the ditch another cow who had decided to take a walk. This cow did not look pregnant.

The second story: Today I was riding with a friend; we were going into town for errands. We came around a curve, right before a small bridge and there meandering around, were six cows on the side of road. Not sure what pasture they came from. They were gone by the time we were headed back.

Ah Life in the Country.

Quote

“My country is going through a most trying moment. The future can hardly be predicted. 

This is a time when real men and women of courage are needed to stand firmly and courageously for what is right. 

To paraphrase a great American, what is popular is not always right and what is right is not always popular.

This is a time when we have to weigh our every thought, word and action.  Men and women of real courage are needed to save us and our land.” Romilia Quotes

Song ‘She’s The Great Morning, The Wonderful Day’ (audio & lyrics)

Michel Montecrossa’s Song ‘She’s The Great Morning, The Wonderful Day’

 
Download here this and many other great songs from Michel Montecrossa’s ‘Love World Action & Climate Change’ concert series at the legendary Spirit of Woodstock Festival 2013

She’s The Great Morning, The Wonderful Day

She’s the great morning, the wonderful day,
changes all with the Bright Earth.

She’s the great morning, the wonderful day.
She’s the relaxing girl from the other end of the universe.

She’s so totally human and divine in our bed.
Yes, she is the relaxing girl, can smile all trouble away.

She’s the hormone enhancing climax-friendly killer ray.
She’s the great morning, she’s the wonderful day.

She’s the real blood, she’s no money sucker.
She’s the black night and the double moon that stays.

She’s the great morning, the wonderful day.
She’s the real flesh, she makes me feel great.

She’s every possible triumph of dreaming love.
She looks with warm, shy eyes, she’s all aglow with dripping life.

She’s the paradise island of heaven on earth.
I’m her fulfillment, make her feel superb.

I’m her sensual man, the exciting man.
I’m her dream enhancing man, the free man.

I’m her naked man, her voluptuous treat.
I’m her satisfaction man, her energy feel.

She’s the real desire, the illusion killer.
I’m her Reality Rocker, I’m her self-fulfiller.

She’s the great morning, she’s the wonderful day.
She’s the free soul – with her it’s the refreshing all!

Lyrics & Music: Michel Montecrossa, © Mira Sound Germany
Michel Montecrossa Homepage: http://www.MichelMontecrossa.com

To stay updated follow the Michel Montecrossa Blog: https://michelmontecrossaliveblog.wordpress.com

Image below: Mirakali on stage during the DreamSpace Electronica Festival in Mirapuri, Italy

Song ‘Welcome Dance – Willkommens Tanz’ (audio & lyrics)

Michel Montecrossa’s Song ‘Welcome Dance – Willkommens Tanz’

http://www.audiomack.com/song/mirasoundgermany/welcome-dance-willkommens-tanz

Download this and many other great songs from Michel Montecrossa’s ‘Willkommens Kultur Tanz Party‘ New-Topical-Song Concert here

Welcome Dance – Willkommens Tanz

Welcome Dance on the path,
the path of the Morning Star.
Welcome Dance with all
gathered in my heart.

Willkommens Tanz auf dem Pfad,
dem Pfad des Morgensterns.
Willkommens Tanz mit allen
vereint in meinem Herzen.

The call we hear
of truth and beauty.
The call we hear
of Love & Freedom.

Wir hören den Ruf
des Wahren und Schönen.
Wir hören den Ruf
von Liebe & Freiheit.

Welcome to the Love of all your hearts!
Welcome to the Freedom at last!
Willkommen sei die Liebe all eurer Herzen!
Willkommen sei die Freiheit endgültig!

Lyrics & Music: Michel Montecrossa, © Mira Sound Germany


Michel Montecrossa Homepage: http://www.MichelMontecrossa.com

To stay updated follow the Michel Montecrossa Blog: https://michelmontecrossaliveblog.wordpress.com

michel-montecrossa-portrait-big

A visit to your country

Are you proud of your country?
If I came visiting your country,
Tell me some of the places
You would proudly recommend I visit?

Are you proud of your city?
If I came visiting your city,
Tell me some of the hotels
You would recommend I live in.

Are you proud of your people?
If I came visiting your country,
Tell me some of the people or communities
You would recommend I visit and talk to
About my own country?

Thanks for giving me this vital information
The world is a global village; one family.
I should feel at home if I come visiting
In your country as you should in mine.

Africa in miniature

My country is usually called
Africa in miniature;
Do you know why?
It has everything Africa has;
If not everything, almost everything;
If you want a quick way to know Africa,
Without going from country to country,
Visit this Africa in miniature;
Are you coming soon?
I’ll be waiting for you when you arrive.

Daily Post
Aug 24, 2016
Daily Prompt
Miniature

Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt.
https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/miniature/

#africa, #cameroon, #climate, #country, #daily-post, #daily-prompt, #miniature, #poem, #vegetation