Eugene Cho

moral inventory: $200 | integrity: pricless

Wow. The letter below may be one of the most powerful letters I’ve received…

I recently received it (hand written) in the mail. I had to read it several times because I didn’t quite understand what it was saying. Perhaps, it’s because the gift of “confession” is something that’s so foreign in our society and our churches (including the church I pastor).

Perhaps, it’s because we take our shots and jabs at most anything that smells of the elevation of morality. But…

Moral inventory.

I was inspired and convicted by the letter because it’s easy for us to diagnose or take a moral inventory for the sake of taking a moral inventory but it takes courage (and grace) to act upon those revelations we receive.

Dear Eugene Cho,

I am a former member of your church in the early 80’s. Over a period of one summer, I cleaned the church while there was a need in between custodial help (I was a teacher with summers free).

Recently while taking a moral inventory while engaging in the 12 steps, it came to my consciousness that I had at some point padded my hours.

Enclosed please find a check in the amount of $200 to repay money that I did not earn plus interest.

Trying to follow God’s leading in all areas of my life.

– signed

Wow.

What do you think of the letter?

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9 Responses

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Eugene Cho. Eugene Cho said: A moral inventory. You'll want to read this: http://bit.ly/gWlhLA […]

  2. Sara says:

    One of the next steps after taking a moral inventory, sharing it with a sponsor, and becoming ready to make amends to those you have harmed, is actually making those amends. It looks like this person is working hard at his/her recovery and you were on his/her amends list.

    I think the twelve steps can be very powerful, and for me it has helped when Christianity couldn’t. Christ-followers could gain a lot from stopping to recognize and learn from the honesty and humility that the twelve step programs are based on. It’s easy sometimes to discount something because it’s not “Christian,” but sometimes the “outsiders” get it right better than Christianity does. I had to let go of my Christian pride in order to venture into another “solution” if you will in the twelve step tradition. What do you know but it actually helped me live as Christ would have me anyway?

    The letter is truly beautiful. What would happen if we all learned to live like that? I think it would look a lot like following Christ.

    Thanks for sharing,
    Sara

  3. A beautiful letter. The 12 steps is a practical process by which we continue the process of sanctification. Unfortunately, many bible studies and accountability groups in the church, do not provide people with the handle bars they need to live out their faith when it comes to a situation such as the one above. Thanks for sharing this.

  4. Jason says:

    Wow! That is quite inspiring

  5. David says:

    Causes me to take an inventory of my own. Very inspiring.

  6. Dave Anthold says:

    Wow. How powerful. Can you imagine if that happened in the corporate life what sort of revolution might take place? The power of grace is amazing!

  7. I wish I could be that honest and transparent for past transgressions. I wish I was courageous enough to own up.

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One Day’s Wages

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These are crazy, turbulent times. Fight the good fight. Run the race set before us.

But we also need you for the long haul. Don't burn out. Discipleship and justice work is a marathon. Learn to take care of yourself. Don't play the victim. It's far too tempting to blame others. Be rooted in prayer, Scripture, and community. It's okay to pause, critical to rest and retreat, and godly to practice Sabbath.

#NoteToSelf Everyone loves the idea of  reconciliation...until it involves truthtelling, confessing, repenting, dismantling, forgiving, and peacemaking. Charlottesville. So heartbreaking and infuriating. We weep and mourn over the hatred in the hearts of these white nationalists. We weep and mourn but we can't be defeated.

As I stare at this photo that's making its round on the internet, I'm reminded of the utter importance of showing up. I'm grateful for the news media, law enforcement, clergy, and peaceful protesters that are currently there to report, protect, pray, and protest.

And this is an invitation to us. May we not be mere bystanders. May we keep pressing forward. Seek justice. Love mercy. Walk humbly. Commit to truth-telling, justice, reconciliation, peacemaking. Follow the ways of Christ. Every day. And it's important to note that we don't have to go to Charlottesville to do this. In fact, it's more important that we do this exactly where we're at. May we live out the call to reconciliation in our churches, workplaces, neighborhoods, schools, and around our dining tables. Lord, may it be so... We don't have to go to Charlottesville to do this. We have to do this wherever were called to be.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.” ~ Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. /// Thanks to those who let me know that the photo wasn't actually from today but rather from last month in Charlottesville. - https://www.facebook.com/FrankSomervilleKTVU/posts/1551137301616258:0 Grateful for a spontaneous, last minute trip with Minhee to my old stomping grounds - San Francisco. 48 hours of visiting this special city that I called home for so many years.

Pic 1: Went to the Cliff House restaurant where we got engaged about 21 years ago to make out. Oops, sorry, I meant...to reflect on God's faithfulness over these many years.

Pic 2: Walked across the Golden Gate Bridge because it's such an iconic place - with some of the most incredible views.

Pic 3: Enjoyed a glass of some Cabernet Sauvignon and pretended to be wine connoisseurs at a vineyard.

Pic 4: Had lunch at my favorite Chinese restaurant, Sam Tung, which boasts some of the best chicken in the country. And of course, we ate at In-n-out.

Pic 5: And finally, celebrated with the good folks at @thefreedomstory where @onedayswages received their annual Freedom Award. What an honor.

Grateful. Thankful for this sabbatical. Breathe.

Show yourself some grace.

We can't do everything for everyone in every situation. Do what you can and do it with a joyful heart.

Amen A family that eats sushi together stays together.

Seriously, I don't ever remember eating so much as a teenager but these kids eat and eat and eat. Perhaps, the reason why this kid is pushing 6 feet tall. Grateful for a special treat with the family at @JaponessaSeattle.

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