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. Rukshan Fernando says:

    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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41 years ago today, our family immigrated to the United States from Seoul, South Korea. I was six years old; the youngest of three sons. My father, when he was also six, fled from what is now known as North Korea. Just recently, he shared with me that he and some of his family had been in a refugee camp when war and violence broke out on the Korean peninsula. It's emotional thinking about what my brothers and I went through coming to a completely foreign country. It wasn't easy. And then, I think about what my parents had to go through:

They fled their homes near Pyongyang which also meant leaving some of their extended families.

They experienced unfathomable hunger and poverty.

They experienced the pain of war.

They immigrated again to the United States as adults with minimal resources and a handful of English words.

All in hopes that their children would have the opportunities that were never afforded to them.

I'm thinking of my brothers today. I'm thinking of my parents and honoring them for their sacrifice and tenacity. And finally, I'm thinking of refugees and immigrants all around the world that are yearning for family, peace, hope, and opportunities. Don't reduce Martin Luther King Jr. to a yearly quote on social media. Live out the dream. Seek first the Kingdom of God. Confront evil. Be a truth-teller. Seek justice. Love mercy. Pursue reconciliation. Build bridges. Love your neighbors. Forgive your enemies. Pray unceasingly. Live a committed life of peace, love, and justice.

The God who deposited this dream into MLK is still speaking to us today.

Be brave. "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.

Here's the full context of his famous quote: "The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral, begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy. Instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate. Returning violence for violence multiplies violence, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate. Only love can do that." An important word for the Church... Oh, how God loves the nations. The Scriptures make this so clear. No one - let alone, the leader of a country - should ever disparage other nations with such a disgusting comment.

To the beautiful people of Haiti, El Salvador, and of the many countries of Africa: We are so sorry. Please accept our apologies on behalf of President Trump.

I've had the privilege of being in Haiti twice and numerous countries in Africa including Kenya where I took this picture during an afternoon drive near Kijabe. In many of these visits, I witnessed such creativity, courage, leadership, hospitality and kindness. To follow Jesus without obedience, repentance, self-denial, and dying to self is an oxymoron. In other words, are we more in love with the idea of following Jesus than actually following Jesus?

Grateful for an incredible Sunday at @seattlequest of beginning our 21 Days of Prayer and Fasting.

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