Calvin College Chimes

Re: A note from someone who takes out your trash

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I appreciated Daniel Hickey’s recent article “A note from someone who takes out your trash” (Oct. 26, 2018). It spoke to the heart of a problem that led me to live a life of inauthenticity for many years. When I was arrested for a crime that shocked even me, the one who committed it, I asked myself, “How did I get to this point in my life?” Part of the answer I discovered was that I had not been living by the values I claimed I held. It was the difference between having aspirational values and having practiced values. We far too often aspire to hold certain values because we are socialized to do so, but if we truly value something, we will also practice it. Perhaps that is why the Apostle James said, “Faith without works is dead.” Because true faith cannot help but result in changed practices.

Perhaps some will take Hickey’s article as an over-the-top appeal to recycle responsibly. I don’t think it is though. Rather, I’d caution that his admonition gets to the heart of the problem of Christianity for many modern followers of Christ. Do we take the message of Christ to heart enough so that it changes our behavior — in more ways than just responsible recycling? Otherwise our faith is nothing more than lip-service.

Bryan Noonan is a junior in the Calvin Prison Initiative at the Handlon Correctional Facility campus.

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