Gerald Ford was interviewed by Bob Woodward in 2004 for a future book project. In it President Ford commented about the war in Iraq and his perspective on President Bush’s decisions. But what caught my attention was that Mr. Woodward wrote in The Post that Mr. Ford said his comments could be published at any time after his death. Hmmm…
Am I the only one that found it interesting that Mr. Ford said his comments could only be published AFTER his death?
I know it is pure speculation, but could it have been that the former president knew that his comments would cause tumult in the nation and be cause for the current president to have difficulties? Could have been that he didn’t want to have to be questioned about his comments or deal with the repercussions of his statements?
I couldn’t help but be think of a couple of things this situation brought to my mind. The first is the concept that we can do things in this life that don’t follow us into eternity. Nothing could be further from the truth! What we do in this life does impact the next as found in Matthew 12:36. It is impossible to escape the consequences of what is said, thought, and done now. So while Mr. Ford may not have to deal with the fallout (If there is any) in this life, that does not mean he (Or anyone for that matter) gets off scott free.
Second, I remembered what Hezekiah thought to himself when he found out that great destruction would occur as a direct result of his sins… but not during his lifetime (2 Kings 20:19). The king was the epitome of selfishness by not caring how his own actions would effect his children, grandchildren, and the nation of Israel. Nothing could have been more deplorable than for there to be absolute disregard for anyone but himself. So I had to wonder if Mr. Ford had some of the similar thoughts as he granted the interview and expressed his views.
If that were the prevailing attitude today the world we live in would be full of strife, contention, arguments, and war. Wait a minute… that IS the world we live in! Maybe Mr. Ford simply expressed on tape what many believe and are living out. Maybe the reason there is so much hurt and pain in the world is that people care only about how things effect them now… while they are alive… and they really don’t care about others or the consequences of their words and actions on others.
Sooner or later decency must prevail. At some point we must admit that it is better to keep our thoughts to ourselves because we love others so much we don’t want them to be hurt by our actions. When will we realize that it is better (best?) to build up, encourage, and be kind rather than wound others with a false belief in temporal and eternal immunity for our actions.
Maybe we all… the writer of this blog included… need to remember what is written in Ephesians 4:29, “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
I think that learning to keep our thoughts to ourselves comes with maturity and age. I know that the more I grow in my faith the more I keep my mouth shut(not about the Lord but about things that really doesn’t concern me). I think I always know what will make things better for everyone but I am learning that I need to keep quiet and let other grow and learn themselves. Being quiet lets you pray longer and allows you more time to discern what God is saying and not what I am saying!!
Hopefully I am learning to be more careful and thoughtful of what I say about and to others. I often wonder about people who say, if you think it you might as well say it. I could not disagree with them more. Thoughtless words can hurt for a long time, but they also give you an opportunity to practice forgiveness.
I have wondered alot about why former President Ford would have said those things. If you watched his funeral, it became very apparent what a good and noble man he was. I don’t think I’ve ever heard as many praises of the character of a political figure as I did watching that funeral. So — for him to have made comments he knew would cause damage seems so out of character for him.
Wholesome speech is so hard for many of us, but it is always amazing to me to see how often the need to be right is more important than a relationship. So many relationships are damaged by pride and it’s “need to be right at the expense of other’s feelings”. It’s crazy how some take pride in being the person to share someone else’s bad fortune — true or not. I just don’t get that thought process. I wonder if they ever stop to realize that the bad feeling in the pit of their stomach after they share news like that is really their conscious hurting over thier choice.
Suzanne… you make some very good points! The things I found in your second paragraph are specially striking because I can see myself in them. The older I get, the more I want to try to avoid making the mistakes I’ve made in the past. I guess that’s why I’m hoping we can all work in the coming year to follow Philippians 1:27… “WHATEVER happens, conduct yourself in a manner worthy of the Gospel of Christ.” Thank you for your thoughts!