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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Collaboration.

col·lab·o·ra·tion
kəˌlabəˈrāSH(ə)n/
noun

the action of working with someone or a group of others  to produce or create something.

May we hold our logos, egos, and tribalism have their place. May we hold them loosely for they too shall pass. May we collaborate for the sake of the greater Kingdom of God ... which endures forever. As we honor Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., don't forget the God behind the man. The one true God who deposited this dream into MLK is still speaking to us today. Are we listening?

Be courageous. Be brave.

Being invited by the King Family to speak at the MLK worship service at Ebenezer Baptist Church in 2016 remains one of the most unexpected honors of my life. On the right is his daughter, Dr. Bernice King and his sister, Dr. Christine King Farris. Walking throughstreet markets in different parts of the world is the best. Soaking in the culture. Listening to the local language and music. Enjoying the amazing cuisine. Meeting new friends. Praying for the Gospel to penetrate. #ChiangRai Blessed be the local, indigenous leaders for it is they who live in the very communities they seek to love. For it is they who understand their context and culture...better than a Westerner ever will. For it is they who will continue to tenaciously pursue a better world with hope, justice and love when visitors like me leave.

Yes, blessed be the local, indigenous leaders. What an honor and privilege to celebrate with the on-the-ground local @thefreedomstory team to celebrate the recent opening of their Education and Resource Center for the local youth in Chiang Rai, Thailanf. This was made possible through a partnership and matching grant by @onedayswages and The Freedom Story.

While it was an honor to be there to cut the cord and say a few words, this is an example of collaboration. Much love to the Freedom Story team including their co-founders Tawee Donchai and @Rachel Goble, to their staff who live in the community, who understand their context and culture, and who tenaciously pursue a better world with hope, justice and love. And of course, much love to the students themselves for they each matter. Finally, to each person that donated to @onedayswages to make this grant possible.

May hundreds and even thousands of youth be impacted, encouraged, and mentored. May they capture a glimpse of God's love for them.

Photo: @benjaminedwards Part 2 on my wrestling with the complex issue of human trafficking. In part, documenting my trip to Thailand for @onedayswages...to listen, learn, and visit one of our partner orgs @thefreedomstory. More to come.

There's such painful and poignant irony in pursuing justice...unjustly. One way we do this is when we reduce people into projects...and thus, propagating the dangerous power dynamic of US as heroes and THEM as helpless and exclusively as victims. So dangerous.

Human trafficking is not just an issue. It’s ultimately, about people. Depending on the sources of statistics, there are anywhere from 29-40 million people in some form of forced labor and slavery, including sex trafficking.

And one thing I’ve learned, personally, is how easy it is easy to reduce people into projects which is why mutuality, reciprocity, and dignity are so vital. These are critical because God never intended people to be reduced into projects.

We forget this and we indirectly foster a culture and system of victimization or worse, the pornification of the poor or in this case, "the trafficked." And when you start dehumanizing the poor or trafficked, you have no genuine desire to build relationships with them. You believe or build stereotypes in broad strokes, singular, black and white narratives that have been told about them. You believe the lie that they have nothing to teach us and are incapable of contributing to the larger society.

Lord, break our hearts for the things that break your heart. Give us eyes to see others through your eyes. Give us humility so that we acknowledge our own need to learn and grow. (Photo via @thefreedomstory)

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