A Message from the Alumni Director
“How could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God?” Genesis 39:9
I've been enjoying Dr. Lockwood’s book, Unlikely Heroes—Ordinary People with Extraordinary Faith, a Biblical and Personal Reflection on Hebrews 11. Through my read I’ve appreciated the opportunity of getting to know our president more. His unique blend of academic perspective and devotional application, as he identifies the cast of these Old Testament characters—simple, ordinary, flawed people living out extraordinary faith, has been encouraging.
Joseph and Chuck
This past week I was challenged by the story of Joseph, “The Unlikely Ruler.” Joseph’s life teaches us that a life of faith requires trusting God through adversity and prosperity. It demands obeying God despite the challenges of family betrayal, sexual temptation, bitterness, despair, compromise and pride. Amidst victory, as well as defeat, Joseph demonstrates for us a commitment of faith that truly is inspiring. In this chapter, Dr. Lockwood tells the story of former White House counsel, Chuck Colson, when he was given the assignment of convincing both friends and foes of the administration to support Nixon’s domestic and foreign policies.
“Colson’s strategy was simple and effective. He would invite senators, governors, heads of state, labor union reps, religious leaders, and anyone with political influence to come to the Oval Office and walk the corridors of power with the President of the United States. For many of these leaders the palpable feeling of power and the exalted sense of importance was enough to convince them to support the administration’s agenda. Colson, who was not a Christian at the time, observed in Christianity Today that religious leaders seemed very amenable to this kind of persuasion. The most susceptible to this strategy, he noticed were evangelical Christian leaders.”
Steady or Swayed
There was a deep sense of sorrow and disappointment for me after reading this story. The reality that evangelical Christians would be among the top of those considered susceptible was disheartening. Perhaps the weight of the disappointment came in light of what ‘ought not be’ against the reality of what actually was, or potentially the recognition of susceptibility seen even within myself. Given the opportunity to have approval, acceptance, importance, value, prestige; would I, along with Joseph, stand with such absolute resolve and say “How could I do such a wicked thing and sin against God (Genesis 39:9)?” Or would I be swayed like the leaders Colson referenced, who rather than modeling integrity and allowing faith to govern their lives, were among the first to falter.
It’s easy to become enticed by feelings of power and a sense of importance. Joseph wasn’t perfect, but he understood God’s sovereignty, and was faithful to trust Him as he submitted to His will. My prayer for us today is that, like Joseph, we too would possess an unshakeable trust in God—a trust that would govern every outcome of our decisions and cause us to walk with integrity and full obedience, not faltering from our faith in Him.
Steadied in faith,
Michelle M. Peel, B.A. '00, M.A. '10
Director of Alumni Relations
To learn more about Unlikely Heroes or to obtain a signed special edition advance copy please visit Multnomah’s new online store.