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Last week we saw and heard the leader of the free world use language that should not come from a professional lectern. There are certainly wiser and more civil ways to express a viewpoint than to lower yourself to that kind of verbal behavior. Ironically, the “lowering” was in response to professional athletes not standing during the playing of the National Anthem. The President even called for a boycott of the NFL.

I understand the issues are big. One might say “huge.” I also understand there are very strong opinions on all sides of the discussions. I find it perplexing that men (most of them millionaires), who play for the NATIONAL Football League won’t stand during the NATIONAL Anthem (which honors the flag of the nation which made them millionaires). I do NOT however deny their right to protest in any way they see fit.

You see, I have served in the military (U.S. Navy), so I hurt with every other veteran who hurts while watching the Anthem protests. I had to stand in a movie theater (on base) every time I went to the movies, because the National Anthem was played before every showing. I had to stop at dusk every time “colors” was played and render a salute in the direction of the flag every time it was retired for the day. I also “served” and retired from a 25-year career in the Federal Government from an agency that both protected society and helped ensure the rights of citizens to protest and peaceably assemble among others. I am a defender of the constitution and as an American I live under its authority and liberties.

Interestingly, both in the Navy, as well as the government, and now as a pastor, (and quite frankly, everywhere I have ever worked), there was a Code of Conduct. I was and am not allowed to behave in a way that would embarrass or create a negative reflection upon my employer. Whether I watch another NFL game or not is my private decision, but my public behavior is open for inspection by all. Unfortunately, it does not look like there is a Code of Conduct in either the NFL or Elected Office.

Here are a few Codes of Conduct Christians should live by.  I try but fail more often than I would like to admit.

  1. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.
  2. Let no unwholesome word proceed from your mouth, but only such a word as is good for edification according to the need of the moment, so that it will give grace to those who hear.
  3. Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.
  4. Treat everyone with high regard: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.

I purposely left out the verse references so it would encourage you to read the “Code of Conduct manual,” because when you find it for yourself you are more likely to retain it.   ….oh, and finally

Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Go forth and sin no more…