“The person who is trustworthy in very small matters
is also trustworthy in great ones;
and the person who is dishonest in very small matters
is also dishonest in great ones....
No servant can serve two masters.
He will either hate one and love the other,
or be devoted to one and despise the other.
You cannot serve both God and mammon.”
Americans have developed the woeful ability to compartmentalize.
In 1998, during Bill Clinton's second presidential term, his sordid adulterous affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky came the light. Clinton's public denial of the affair ("I did not have sexual relations with that woman") led to his impeachment (and acquittal) for perjury and obstruction of justice.
Despite all that, I remember being dismayed at the time by a poll showing that a majority of Americans insisted that Clinton's behavior was merely his "personal" life, which is separate from and does not affect his "public" life and conduct as U.S. president.
The words of Jesus in the above passage from Luke 16 is a reminder that morality cannot be compartmentalized and sectioned off into separate, discrete rooms. Instead, “the person who is dishonest in very small matters is also dishonest in great ones." For "No servant can serve two masters"-- you're either with God, or you're not. It's that simple.
Let this be your guide in the upcoming November 8 election, as well as in all our dealings with each other and with ourselves.
Our Founding Fathers knew well morality cannot be compartmentalized, and how integral morality is for democratic self-government:
"Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other." -John Adams, 1798.
"Religion and morality are the essential pillars of civil society." -George Washington.
"[O]nly a virtuous people are capable of freedom. As nations become corrupt and vicious, they have more need of masters." -Benjamin Franklin
"[W]ithout virtue there can be no liberty." -Benjamin Rush, Signer of the Declaration of Independence.
"[F]or avoiding the extremes of despotism or anarchy . . . the only ground of hope must be on the morals of the people. I believe that religion is the only solid base of morals and that morals are the only possible support of free governments. [T]herefore education should teach the precepts of religion and the duties of man towards God." -Gouverneur Morris, penman and signer of the Constitution of the United States of America.
The Greatest Commandment of all is to love God with our whole heart, our whole soul, our whole mind, and with all our strength.
Jesus, I love You. Thank you for suffering and dying for me and for this wretched humanity.
May the peace and joy and love of Jesus Christ our Lord be with you,