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There but for the grace of God go I

A Word to the Wise
By: Tom Rupp
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Last week our community again experienced a terrible crime with the murder/suicide reported in this paper. A few weeks ago another murder occurred in a very nice neighborhood nearby. Perhaps some people think that such things only happen in the big city or in urban blight. Such things happen wherever there are people, human beings like you and me. It is just that in a denser populated area they occur with more statistical frequency. Many times friends and neighbors will say to news reporters, “He was so quiet” or “She seemed so normal.” I am sure they were. But then something happened, something snapped, and here we are dealing with death and grief. Answers? There aren’t as many as you would hope, but many observations arise. In the Bible, James 4:1, 2 states, “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but you don’t get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want.” Russian dissident Alexander Solzhenitsyn wrote, “If there only were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being.” It could be me, it could be you. The old saying is that “there but for the grace of God go I.” Now some of you may be saying to yourself, “Speak for yourself, but I would never do that.” Fair enough, but I know there are thousands of people who once said the same thing as they now sit in prison, or worse, in a grave. To me this is why it is eternally important to cultivate a soul. What we are on the inside gets fleshed out. Our inner life and our outer life are one and the same. To fill one’s mind with good and godly thoughts and to guide one’s heart by proven principles will not steer you wrong. We cannot continuously act according to a principle that is inconsistent with the way we see ourselves. Therefore, take heed how you mold and see yourself day by day. As a Christian, it means living a Christ like life by the power of the Spirit and the guidelines of the Word. “Help me, O God, make it through this day with You.” Tom Rupp can be reached at truppfolsom@yahoo.com and thomaswrupp.blogspot.com.