This article was written by Edward E. Partridge over thirty years ago.  EPC is having a forty days of prayer for our country.  I hope this message from Bro. Partridge, jars our minds on what’s really important and we will pray for our country to return to some of the “old paths”.

Can it be possible to care so much for the temporal things that it overrides what life’s worth in our friends is all about?

How many times have you or I, or our family, said we would invite someone over for the evening or spend an afternoon with us, if only our house was not messed up?  Or in some cases we don’t have anything to serve them as a treat or refreshment?  Of course, in turn they may be sitting home thinking about the same thoughts as we are.

What are we as a people or society?  Have we such a culture that would allow appearance, or the proper use of etiquette to stand between our friends and us.  By preventing the close knit association that true friends should require?

But we say “Oh! I wouldn’t think of having company come over with a messy house.”  Don’t we know that true friends don’t look at the outward appearance, except to the extent of thinking that we are not so stuck up, high-falutin, or well refined that we can’t have them over, so they can relax their guard a little and welcome us also to their home.  You can always tell the difference between a home that has not been cleaned in six months, or one that has just been in disarray for lack of time (they may have been helping their neighbor).

How many friends go week after week and sometimes month after month without ever getting together with you (their friends)?  Maybe just because of your or their attitude toward appearance.

Could this be the reason the (good neighbor policy) of years gone by, is no longer with most of the American people?  When we were a younger nation and had hard times, neighbors depended upon each other and had a lasting friendship that an unmowed lawn or messed up house could never stand between.

In our so-called affluent society (in worldly goods only) we as a people and a nation have traded a wealth of friendship and love and concern for our neighbor (which in return brings love and concern back to us), for a rushed way of life.

There are people in our modern way of life that work all day, and sometimes evening, and in many case the wife is working in order to be able to afford a nice home.   In which case they have to spend most of their time cleaning (in case a neighbor dropped by).  Of course, they have to work on the lawn (mow, seed, fertilize, and sprinkle) in order to keep up with the code of the neighborhood.  Then they fall in bed with a smile saying “Boy, have we got a nice home”, not being able to enjoy it except with a fleeting glance.

Have we as a nation acquired such a pride in material things that we have left or forsaken the love of a neighbor for the love of material things that will never buy  true or lasting happiness?

Since the age of television, has our society grown in the respect and welfare of our friends and neighbors?  Or, in spite of all its apparent (good), undermined the very stability of which our nation has been founded on?

Have we as a nation stooped or been brought so low as to have to scrounge (watch all the trash on television) as if through a garbage can full of rotten potatoes in order to find one good one?

Why can’t we raise our head and look upon the tree (our neighbor) in order to find a wealth of good that a television set could not, does not, and never will bring.

Has any of us ever been caught watching a program when the phone rang (sad to say in the early days I have), and we could hardly make sense to the other party having our eye glued to the television set, wishing they would hang up?

It’s like a parent talking to their child trying to explain something, and them looking out the window, with their mind playing ball.  The sad part is that we could shake our child back to reality, but I’m afraid it’s going to take a hard slap in the face for us as a nation to wake up.  But by then instead of being surrounded by a lot of friends we could be stabbed in the back by a multitude of enemies that we as a nation have had a hand in creating ourselves.

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