Tag Archives: Harvard

Careless Speech, Harvard Lessons, and Wisdom from the Word

In light of everything else going on in the world today, it is barely a story. Ten kids who had been accepted into Harvard made some really dumb choices about what to post and say in a Facebook chat room. Then Harvard rescinded their offers.

But if you read the headlines, you would think that their lives were “ruined.” Please. To suggest that their lives are ruined is… a stretch. Ten really smart kids with great grade point averages and high SAT scores are going to be ok. In fact, they will probably be better off…if they gain wisdom from their mistake.

It is best to learn this universal truth when you are young – actions have consequences!

Careless words on social media are not just harmless speech in an alternate reality. They will be used against you. The comments and pictures they shared were racist, sexist, anti-Semitic, and promoted pedophilia and suicide. And Harvard held them accountable.

Good advice for kids hasn’t changed in 3,000 years. In Proverbs 4, the wise teacher gives advice to his son. Here are a few excerpts, but the chapter is worth a read:

  • My child, listen closely to my teachings and learn common sense.
  • Be wise and learn good sense…
  • Don’t follow the bad example of cruel and evil people… Stay away from them.
  • Carefully guard your thoughts…

Wisdom is not easily learned. It involves a few hard knocks.

While these kids are, no doubt, exceptionally bright, this week they earned a little wisdom…if they learn from their mistakes. We hope the wisdom gained today will stick with them as future elected officials, doctors, lawyers, bankers, etc. Careless words have consequences.

The Bible is clear that we will all be called into account for our careless words (Matthew 12:36). Specifically, we will be judged by whether we confessed Jesus as the Son of God or not. Does your speech foolishly mock God and His grace?

Christ is the only true forgiveness for all our sins. Be wise and learn that lesson while there is still time. With wise speech, confess Jesus as Lord and Savior today!

Sweet Lies?

sweet-liesSo…sugar walked into a research lab one day and paid some researchers to blame saturated fat for weight gain and heart issues. The researchers took the money and said, “no problem.” Still waiting on the punch-line for this joke? Hmmm…sorry – there isn’t one; it isn’t a joke, and it isn’t funny.

Stanton Glantz, is a professor of medicine at U.C.S.F., and is one of the authors of a recent article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). The article brings to light an effort by the sugar industry to systematically hide the effects of sugar by blaming fat. The findings are clear: “They were able to derail the discussion about sugar for decades.”

In 1967, a group called the “Sugar Research Foundation” paid three Harvard scientists to publish papers with the instructions that saturated fat, not sugar, be blamed for weight gain and heart disease. Until 1984, researchers didn’t have to disclose their funding sources, so no one knew that sugar was paying the bill. One of those researchers, D. Mark Hegsted, became the head of nutrition for the US Department of Agriculture, drafting dietary guidelines that helped steer nutrition policies in this country for decades. So…no surprise, saturated fat, not sugar, has been public enemy #1.

Now, saturated fat isn’t blame free. And it probably doesn’t surprise anyone that sugar told “sweet lies.” Last year, for example, the NY Times disclosed that Coca-Cola had been paying millions of dollars to researchers who promised to downplay the link between sugary drinks and obesity. Candy makers have done the same…and worse.

But guess what? We are just as bad!

The truth is, people have been shifting blame since there were people! In the Garden of Eden, Adam blamed “the woman” and God rather than accepting the responsibility for his actions (Genesis 3:12). James tells us that our sin is our own. We must not blame God or say that He tempts us (James 1:13-18) “The devil made me do it,” is never an acceptable excuse.

We are responsible for our sins. Thankfully, though, God didn’t leave us without help. Because of Jesus’ sacrificial grace, we can be forgiven of our sins. By confession, we literally “say the same as” God – “guilty!” And if we confess our sins, He is just and faithful and will forgive us (1 John 1:9).

Are you still saying the devil made you do it? Still shifting blame on others? Admit your faults…and look to the forgiving grace God offers through Jesus today.