Our culture seems to be changing at lightning speed. Timeless values can be seen as outdated. I held onto an article I read some time ago because the words were so inspiring. “Letters from Dad” was published in Good Living Magazine, summer 2013 edition. Pam Settle, the editor of the magazine and a friend of our firm, included excerpts written by a father to his son. I thought you might enjoy reading samples of what Dr. William Rice, senior Pastor at Calvary Baptist Church in Clearwater, had to say to direct his son on the occasion of his high school graduation into young adulthood and beyond.
Over the long haul, your character is who you really are… character is telling the truth even when it is easier to tell a lie. Character is treating other people with respect and compassion. Character means standing up for what is right. Character cannot be bought or sold. It comes from within and it comes from above. Anyone can do the right thing once in a while, but character does the right thing, especially when it is the hard thing. That is what separates people with character from those who lack it.
God has something for you to do. You were made to work. Work is a wonderful thing. It brings fulfillment, meaning and the enjoyment of accomplishment… never live as if someone owes you anything… life will not be brought to you on some silver platter. You had better get up, go find a job, and do something for somebody. That is how the world works… work is hard. That's why they call it work. But there is honor and fulfillment in the job well done… go the second mile. The road is never crowded on the second mile.
Encourage someone and watch their world change. Criticize someone and their entire day can be shattered. Words matter, more than you can imagine. You can build up or tear down, and that power lies in the words that are spoken, texted, emailed, or facebooked. Words create worlds. Words are powerful – so use them wisely. Your words can open more doors than any key. Your words can create more havoc than any explosive… beware of words spoken in anger… you have the right to remain silent, I recommend you use that right often.
Note: The actual letters, written by Dr. Wm. E. Rice, are part of a DVD series called “Letters from a Father” available through Calvary Baptist Church in Clearwater.