My good friend,

I received your comment disagreeing with my statement regarding true men of God and conflict. The statement I wrote, “I do believe in Good and because I know good comes from a higher realm, I can look past the conflict because between true men of God there is no conflict” does, without reference, create an apparent paradox. Of course, true men of God do disagree, but if they are true men (by true I mean obeying and serving God’s will over any personal desire) there will be no conflict for each knows all men are equally unworthy before God and equally loved by God.

The phrase “true men of God” immediately implies false men of God exist. If we are to have a fruitful conversation, a common ground must be established. I will do my best.

George MacDonald provides a beginning point when he said, “The one secret of life and development is not to devise and plan but to fall in with the forces at work — to do every moment’s duty aright — that being the part in the process allotted to us; and let come — not what will, for there is no such thing — but what the eternal thought wills for each of us, has intended in each of us from the first.”

True men of God know when the sun rises and the day’s demands creep into his thinking, his first thought and duty is to seek God’s presence, to be reminded of His will. This he must carry with him until the sun sets and he sleeps again, awaking a better man tomorrow. This man knows he best serves God when his fallibility accompanies him. He knows that “to do every moment’s duty aright” the possibility exists he will be wrong and sometimes do wrong. And thus, he relies on God. True men of God remember our Lord’s words when he said, “I came not to do my will, but the will of my Father who sent me.” This is the true man’s first moral principle from which his actions follow.

The false man plays a game of tomfoolery disguised as seriousness. The false man acts in accordance with his end in mind and creates a moral argument for his convenience. This is a sheep in wolves’ clothing. He wishes you to believe his only aim is good. He reveals it is not when the argument’s volume rises, he hurls the word “ought” at you and the conflict becomes interminable. Because the false man begins with an end, he will attempt to convince you abnormal is normal, wrong is right and a sin is not a sin. The end is always his first principle, to use God to achieve it.

My good friend, look no further than the Good Samaritan and the Prodigal Son. Each knew he was last. God’s mercy was the first moral principle. The priest, the Levite and the older brother all had ends in mind, a desire to be right, good in their eye, yet blind to God’s will.

Your thoughtful reply is welcome.

Deck Cheatham has been a golf professional for more than 40 years. He lives with his family in Dalton. Contact him at pgadeacon@gmail.com.

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