Don't Be Ashamed of Your Finer Feelings

Don't Be Ashamed of Your Finer Feelings

Have you ever wondered why so many of us are ashamed of letting others know that we have inner feelings of generosity, tenderness, love for beauty, and the many other feelings that we know are right?

For it is a fact—many of us are anxious to hide our highest ideals. Especially men and boys. And even women and girls.

Many times on the playground or on the way home from school, boys join in teasing some weaker fellow, or somebody dressed differently, or a boy with skin of another color. Girls join in pointing out some poorer girl, not dressed as well as they. Or they simply ignore her and leave her without friends or companions.

Why does this happen? Not because we are all so bad. No, that's not the reason at all.

The reason is this: Many of us are afraid to reveal that we have sympathy, compassion, pity, or feeling for the underdog. We had rather have our friends believe we're tough, inside and out.

Once when Albert Schweitzer, the great missionary doctor, was a boy, he went on a bird-hunting expedition with other boys. Inside he was deeply troubled. He didn't want to shoot the birds. He felt very sorry for them. He loved their lovely songs. Also, he felt that they deserved to live, just as much as he did. Still, he trudged along with the other fellows.

Just as they were about to shoot, the church bell started ringing. The sound brought, in a flash, all the great ideas he had learned in church. Now he knew what he must do. Without any more hesitation or indecision he made all the noise he could. The birds flew away. For a while, at least, they were safe.

Only a boy can appreciate what courage was required for young Albert Schweitzer to do this simple act. For we can imagine what ridicule was heaped on him by his companions who had their guns loaded, cocked, and aimed, ready to shoot.

Years later the same Albert Schweitzer, now a famous scholar, teacher, preacher, and musician, revealed his inner feelings again; and again people called him crazy. He felt badly that his own white race had been so cruek to the African Negro. What could he do to make up for this cruelty? He decided to become a medical missionary. What? His friends asked. Give up a great career for colored people thousands of miles away? Certainly Albert was out of his mind!

But inside he knew what was right for him. He proceeded according to his inner feelings. He was not ashamed to let the world know just how he felt.

If you are brave enough to reveal your finest feeelings and highest thoughts, you'll have a pleasant surprise. All around people will say, "That's exactly how I feel, too, only I didn't know anybody else felt the same!"

A verse in Genesis tells us: "God created man in his own image." By this we know that all his children are essentially the same. Yes, there's bad aplenty in us all. Some seem mostly bad. But in every human being there is more good than we see on the surface.

We Christian folk must be leaders in showing our finer points. Oh, not in the boasting scene, but in the many, many opportunities, which we confront every day, to respond to God.

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