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Spiritual Life: Rev Ian Monks, St Paul’s Church, Woodford Bridge

PUBLISHED: 09:00 25 February 2017

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Danger lurks where promises are made and nothing happens

What does 100 days mean to you? For me there are two possible answers. The 100 days following Napoleon’s escape from Elba, or the 100 days of grace, usually accorded to an incoming American President and his administration by the media, so that they can all settle down in Washington and get their feet firmly under the table in peace, before having to face a barrage of criticism and comment.

A gentlemanly custom not followed this time! I won’t apportion blame.

Coming from a teaching background, this led me on to thinking about how we get things done.

There is a time for “sabre-rattling” and making a loud noise, but sometimes there is a need for a charm offensive and winning people over by quiet diplomacy.

Showing sympathy to the wayward, understanding what their problems really are can work miracles! This is all about how we treat others, with respect or scorn. The Christian faith calls on us to see the image of God in every human being and to treat them accordingly.

Danger lurks where threats or promises are made and nothing happens. Such behaviour encourages others to take risks. Reliability is vital.

I am reminded of the couple of Victorian ladies who went to see Sarah Bernhardt playing Cleopatra. The one remarked to the other: “How different, how very different from the home life of our own dear Queen.”

You bet! But please don’t forget how Cleopatra ended up!


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