Rome News-Tribune

Remain Faithful

- DECK CHEATHAM GUEST COLUMNIST Deck Cheatham has been a golf profession­al for more than 40 years. He lives with his family in Dalton. Contact him at

Dear Winston, I am in agreement regarding the notion today’s society is in a state of moral decline. My tendency is to read into history that every age must have in some way believed the same about their own. That any age yielded to the next and passed on its inheritanc­e of both light and lesson gives me hope our age will follow. I am not a fatalist. I am hopeful. Faith demands my hope least. Remain faithful. Our age, too, shall yield to the next her light and lesson.

God grants to each the power of observatio­n and discernmen­t. To their detriment, not all engage it. To those who do, wisdom’s rest is their assurance. Your observatio­ns have enlightene­d me. I share your concerns and add my own.

Reflecting on our discussion, further thought suggests to me a certain acquiescen­ce pervades our day. We are settlers in both meanings of the word. All effort seems to aim at settling into life, staking our claim and right to be here. The phrase, “I’m as good as you,” is the lie underlying this affair. Its utterance stunts any movement toward a better self. Its attraction is not to demand virtue, but the ability to possess what my neighbor has. Having it means I am affirmed.

But we also settle. This means in its other sense — less. Though more (and I do not mean possession­s) is available, less becomes the way. Why choose the harder path when less is plentiful and satisfies, too? But what about our soul? Doesn’t that which is not nourished wither?

I also noticed your use of the word contempt. Common in form, the word portrays scorn or inferiorit­y — disdain. When directed against some wrong, contempt becomes a form of love to be tended by our deepest devotion and compassion and vulnerabil­ity. If it be such, let us refine our contempt through God’s grace. Let contempt wake self and neighbor from slumber and direct its scorn toward settling, expressing love to those who need to be drawn to their own vulnerabil­ity.

There is another considerat­ion prevalent in the cultural conversati­on and its symptomati­c clashes. No longer do we share a common morality. Today, a plurality of moralities exists. These moralities by definition (I’m as good as you), having been diluted by democratiz­ation, reveals our settling for what it is — a form of resistance.

The apostle John in his first epistle reminds us, “... he who keeps His commandmen­ts abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us” (1 John 3:24, NKJV). Faith demands love most. And because I know good, faithful servants live among us, abiding in Him, righteous without posture, void of self-promotion, against whom I am most unworthy, I remain hopeful. God’s thread runs through them as it has in ages past, our present age, and the age to come. To remain faithful means His light shines not only bright but long. Blessings to you always,


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