Who is your moral guide?

| October 4, 2013 | 0 Comments

Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Donald Eubank, U.S. Army Garrison-Hawaii

On a recent family trip, I noticed my briefcase was unusually heavy.

Sitting at the airport while waiting for our flight, I took the time to do a quick inventory of my overweight bag; the evidence was overwhelming that I was carrying around plenty of “clutter” that needed to be dumped.

Eubank

Eubank

As I cleaned out my briefcase, I found three different envelopes and one napkin with scribbled directions, in my handwriting. These old notes were the telltale documentation that I hate getting lost.

I prefer to have clear guidance of where I am going, especially when I am doing the driving.

No one has recently called me “directionally challenged,” but the truth is, I do not have an innate sense of which way is north. I frequently find myself looking for geographical landmarks to orient myself to north, south, east and west.

Not only do I want to know where I am going, I hate asking for directions. It may be a “guy thing” for me, but I think that depending on my wife to always know the “way” to where we’re driving is a sign of weakness. Therefore, I take the initiative.

In recent years, MapQuest had become my friend — until my first Android phone. Now, Google Maps and I are best buddies. I type in my destination address, and off I go, with my cell phone announcing “in one-quarter mile, turn right on Middle Street.” Thanks to my Droid, and its navigation software, I almost never make wrong turns anymore.

In a similar way, I often check my spiritual compass as I navigate through life.

A wise proverb says, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end, it leads to death.”

Simply put, I am not always the best judge of the direction I should take in life. I don’t think any of us are. That is a sobering reality, one that my accountability partners and I often reflect on.

Another ancient proverb says, “A man who trusts his own advice is trusting a fool, but those who walk in the wisdom of counselors are safe.”

We all need an objective source of accountability to keep us on track, morally and spiritually.

I meet each week for one hour with six men who I consider trusted brothers. We’ve been meeting for five years. These men often provide a sanity check on the moral and spiritual issues of my life related to my marriage, family and profession. Together, we have established honesty, openness and transparency in an accountability relationship.

In this relationship of accountability, I’ve found a great source of encouragement and confidence.

Who are you accountable to?

Do you have trusted friends with whom you regularly meet to get a “reality check” on the big issues of your life?

Is there anyone who has your permission to speak words of correction into your life to prevent you from making horrible mistakes?

It is a wise man or woman who has cultivated such trusted relationships.

If you don’t have someone who is checking your moral compass, I encourage you to take steps this week to recalibrate your personal integrity.

We will all benefit by considering how such virtues as integrity, responsibility, compassion and forgiveness could impact our personal decision-making processes.

We might even find ourselves writing some key ideas on the back of an old envelope.

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Category: Footsteps in Faith, News, Standing Columns

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