Recently, I visited The King Center in Atlanta as a part of a conference I attended. While there, I was reminded of Dr. and Mrs. King’s commitment to non-violence. Though Christian, the Kings recognized and respected the common ground they held with Gandhi and spent time studying his teachings. In the room devoted to Gandhi’s teaching, I read the following quote from him, The means and the ends are convertible in my philosophy.
Both Gandhi and the Kings followed a much more public path than most of us ever will, but this teaching is just as important in our lives. It reflects the teaching of Jesus who repeatedly called out religious leaders for their hypocrisy and who lived according to God’s ways more fully than any of us ever can. He is after all “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6). But, as we see in the lives of Jesus, the Kings, and Gandhi, this is not an easy path.
Levison challenges us to see how administrators and artisans, weavers and seamstresses - workers - of all kinds may be filled with the Spirit and called to live with integrity. This is not a matter of salvation - Jesus has that covered. No, this is the response of gratitude - the grateful following of the one who shows us the way to be a part of what God is already doing in the world. For, “the hallmark of the Spirit is not primarily spectacular miracles but the daily, dogged, practice of integrity. (Levison 59)”
For those meeting in groups, consider sharing the following:
- What skills have you honed in your lifetime? How have you been called to share those gifts with the church or in ministry to the larger community?
- The answer to the first question of the Westminster Catechism says, “The chief end of humanity is to glorify God and enjoy him forever.” Consider Gandhi’s quote above on the means and the ends being convertible. Reflect together on what this looks like in daily living.
- How has your faith been reflected in your work? Or, how have you seen faith reflected in business practices throughout your life? Has this been a benefit or detriment to success in business? Why?
Throughout the Lenten season, small groups are meeting to discuss "40 Days with the Holy Spirit" by Dr. Jack Levison. As you reflect on this text, share your thoughts and questions here on the blog. Check back often, join the conversation in the comment section, and read along if you’d like! (Copies of the book are for sale in the church office 903-597-6317.)
Many thanks to The Rev. Pamela Leach, who contributed to this post.