I’m your Dad and we don’t do that here……..

In reflecting back on your Dad's influence, what principles have been proven to be true and which have you had to reconsider?

Recently I spoke to a group of church leaders who are going through a tough transition time in the life of their church.  Change is a challenging issue for many of us – in our work, our technology, our cars, our children and our churches.

The worst thing I see is churches trying to defend things simply because that's the way they were done in the past.  Change is painful – but not changing is certain death. Tweet This

With Father's Day right around the corner I was reminded of my own strict upbringing and the principles Dad attempted to pass on to me.

I grew up in the Mennonite church where my Dad was the pastor.  I remember those painful meetings to decide if Amish car, holding on to the past, accepting changewe could drive cars in any color but black.  Whether boys could play baseball with their high school team.  Whether mixed swimming was ever acceptable.  And yes, I remember when I was about 12 years old when our church decided to expel a family because they had gotten a TV.  Certainly, looking back now some of those issues appear to be insignificant.  I fought in defiance for years to be able to wear a neck-tie; now I hate wearing the stupid things and realize it wasn’t progress after all.  The TV in our home today probably feels like an orphan as Joanne and I don’t see that it has much value.  Funny how some of the things we fight over turn out to be non-issues over time.

But then I see people holding on to equally limiting beliefs like:

  • I’m too old to ever finish college
  • I could never learn another language
  • No one hires a 53-yr-old
  • I could never find the person of my dreams to marry
  • Musical instruments in the church will open the door to the devil
  • No one could start a successful business in this economy
  • The government needs to provide my health care
  • I could never make $100,000 a year

Fortunately or unfortunately – if we repeat something enough times, we then believe it’s true, and the results in our lives verify it’s truth for us.  Obviously, that can work for or against us.

Sometimes I laugh with my grown children about the principles I thought were important when they were small.  Playing in the rain will probably not cause you to get sick.  Getting all “A”s in school may not equip you for running your own business.  Being in church every Sunday morning may not be the only way to observe the Sabbath.  Maybe having a cell phone is not a bad idea for a 16-yr-old new driver.  And the list goes on……..

In reflecting back on your Dad's influence, what principles have been proven to be true and which have you had to reconsider?

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  • Cliff Feightner

    We have been told that it cannot be done
    The idea we have should be shun
    Stick to what you know
    The old status quo
    And the progress you get will be none

  • Ron Ryan

    My dad spoke respectfully to all people. He addressed those older than himself and those in authority with “sir” or “ma’am.” Once as a boy when I started to speak ill of someone at the dinner table, he thumped me quickly on the head and said, “Son, if you can’t say something good about someone, don’t say anything at all.”

    Error (or limiting belief) oft repeated, but left unchallenged, is eventually perceived to be truth. I heard that somewhere or made it up. Don’t know. But I see it play out every day in people’s lives and on the national stage.