(Posted June 26, 2014)
“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the course, I have kept the faith;”
(2 Timothy 4:7, NASB)
The Apostle Paul illustrated what it means to “keep the faith,”
as did Abraham, Jesus, and so many other giants of the faith that we have been privileged to observe in our own lives. The “Hall of Heroes” in Hebrews 11 gives more examples of faithful servants of God whose examples inspire us to keep the faith as well.
Just as it is important and admirable to keep faith with God, it is also important to keep faith with others. A dictionary definition of faith (www.thefreedictionary.com) includes this facet: Loyalty to a person or thing; allegiance: keeping faith with one's supporters. You may be familiar with the verse in Proverbs 27:6 which states “Faithful are the wounds of a friend, But deceitful are the kisses of an enemy.” In this context, we “keep faith with” others when we lovingly convey truth which may cause temporary wounding with the objective of longer term healing and growth. Jesus illustrated “keeping faith” with each of us in the ultimate and eternal sense when He suffered to the point of death on our behalf: “Therefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people through His own blood, suffered outside the gate” (Hebrews 13:12, NASB).
The current Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) controversy is a relevant and timely counterexample of this concept of keeping faith. If you are not familiar, there is a growing “scandal” within the VA Health Care system in which ineptitude and fraud of national proportions have been disclosed by VA whistleblowers and the families of veterans whose have been directly impacted. As of this writing, the deaths of over 1,000 veterans in need of urgent health care have been attributed to inordinate waits of over a year while corrupt VA officials in an alarmingly widespread number of VA facilities have kept “shadow” waiting time records to make the wait time statistics look favorable. While you can research this ongoing crisis in veterans’ health care according to your own time and interests, the reality is that the Department of Veterans Affairs has not “kept faith” with those great Americans who have served and sacrificed in the military uniform of our nation. Prayerfully, this situation will be resolved quickly and we can once again treat our nation’s deserving veterans with honor, respect, and quality health care.
Conversely, I want to highlight Liberty University (LU) as a wonderful example illustrating excellence in “keeping faith” with our nation’s veterans. As a Christ-centered and highly patriotic educational institution, Liberty represents a national best practice in quality educational services, beneficial outreach programs, and an overall “DNA” which renders honor to our nation’s veterans and active duty military: “Render to all what is due them;…honor to whom honor” (Romans 13:7). While the ongoing VA crisis is a travesty, the competence, consistency, and compassion which Liberty University exercises on behalf of our nation’s uniformed servants of past and present (including their families) makes Liberty University a national treasure.
Whether it is benefits counseling through the Military Affairs Office, or outreach events throughout the year which honor and serve LU military students, or ongoing curriculum development and military research by the LU Institute for Military Resilience (www.LUOnline.com/IMR), or the education and empowerment of military students in every way possible by each Department and faculty member at LU, or the partnership with veterans organizations such as IVET (Institute for Veterans Education and Training), or the unique support to LU military graduates seeking employment through the LU Career Center and the LU Network; Liberty University truly models excellence in honoring, affirming, empowering, and serving those who have sacrificed their freedoms and well-being so that each of us may worship and work in a free America.
If you are an active duty military member, a military family member, or a veteran of military service, you can do no better than Liberty University.
Respectfully in Christ,
LU Institute for Military Resilience
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