During the meeting of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, one of the members moved “that the standing army be restricted to no more than 5000 men at any one time.”
George Washington, being the chairman, could not offer a motion, but he turned to another member and whispered [sarcastically], “Amend the motion to provide that no foreign enemy shall invade the United States at any time with more than 3000 troops."
As Christians, we find ourselves engaged in a great, cosmic battle for souls. We can know the strategy of the enemy. We can study his tactics. We can see what he does in the lives of others and we can see the path of destruction that is left in the lives of those who follow him. What we cannot do is control him.
But we can put on the whole armor of God so that we are prepared for the fight.
A high-water mark is the maximum rise of a body of water over land. In the world of high finance, this term is used to refer to the highest value reached by an investment fund. In the Civil War, the high-water mark of the Confederacy was achieved at Cemetery Ridge near Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, the farthest point reached by Confederate forces during Pickett's Charge on July 3, 1863.
In the pursuit of morality, the high-water mark is found in the words and actions of Christ.
The high-water mark of morality isn’t loving those who love you but learning to love those who hate you. This high-water mark was first expressed by Christ when he said, “Love your enemies,” and it was first lived out by Jesus when he went to the cross to give his life for every sinner who, by their sins, made themselves the enemy of God.
If, contrary to your own nature, you are to rise to the level of God’s high-water mark of morality, you must turn to Jesus. He alone has made the way for you to follow, and only he can provide you and me with the love necessary to walk in it.
Bible illustrator Steven May, in his work THE STORY FILE, shares the following:
On July 3, 1988, an American navy cruiser, thinking itself to be under attack by an Iranian F-14, gunned down an Iranian airliner containing 290 civilian passengers, killing them all. Polls revealed that most Americans were against paying compensation to the Iranian victims' families; the hostage crisis was still fresh in many minds. In spite of this, President Reagan approved compensation.
"Afterward," May continues, "he was asked by reporters if such payment would send the wrong signal. His response was, 'I don't ever find compassion a bad precedent.' Revenge may be easier to practice, but compassion demonstrates the heart of God."
Good leadership is compassionate leadership, and recognizes that compassion is not subject to public opinion.
"Put on then, as God's chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive" (Colossians 13:12-13).