God Bless The U.S.A.

By: D. A. Slinkard

I hate being lied to, yet we live in a world that is becoming more and more dishonest every day. We do not know whether or not we can believe the news, if it is real news or fake news; and sometimes no news is better than anything out there. Recently, I was asked about what are some lies the world would like us to believe and why I think these lies hurt us. I thought for a moment on this, and I came up with three lies most often used that can lead to a person’s demise. These three are as follows: Give 110% effort; As long as you try; and Listen to your heart. These things sound good, but when you peel back the layers you see the dishonesty that we fall for.

As for giving 110% effort, this is probably most often quoted by many people. Sadly, this is the farthest from the truth. In fact, I would say the people that say they give 110% are the same ones in society who are barely giving 30% of their maximum effort. Yet, here we go asking for people to give their commitment, and they tell us they are 110% committed. Completely asinine. Why? Grab a water bottle and put 110% water in that bottle. You cannot do it, and neither can a person give more than they are capable of giving. The people who use this cute little quote do not even mean it, and I guarantee they could not show you what just 75% effort looks like. Do not fall for the fake news of 110% effort.

The next lie is what we often hear parents tell kids, “As long as you try…” Who even says this? You got it -- the parents that have their 30-year-old kid living at home in the basement filled with all the participation trophies they won growing up. We need to stop pretending it is okay for people to just show up and give any amount of effort. To be successful in life takes more than just putting forth any kind of effort. You need to have the mentality of showing up with the intention of giving everything you have. To use an old sports cliché, you need to leave everything out on the court.

Sadly, though, we do not know what it means to give maximum effort because we have raised an entire generation of kids who are satisfied with getting a participation ribbon. As a kid, I wanted to be the best; I would not settle for anything less. And as an adult, not much has changed. I still want to be the best at what I do. If it is playing sports, I want to be the best. If it is doing my job, I want to be the best. We need not settle, and we need to raise up a generation that does not settle for just any kind of effort.

The third and final lie I oftentimes hear is listen to your heart and you will never go wrong. Sadly, I have been guilty of saying this lie. It was not until I started reading my King James Bible that I realized what God says about listening to the heart. Did you know the Bible tells us the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked? I will never forget the first time I read this scripture, and I felt ashamed. I had been telling the same lie that had been passed down to me from whomever, but I wish I would have been wise enough to have known the truth.

If you tell a lie with enough conviction and tell it often enough, this lie will eventually become truth. This has happened to the world we live in. As a society, the lies we told ourselves have now become the truth. We, as a country, are headed down a slippery slope, and we need to get ourselves back on track. The greatest country known to man is the United States of America, and we need to live our lives as such.

We have people who are ashamed to be Americans, and yet here we are celebrating the independence of our country. Freedom is not free, and I hope after reading this you will take the time to reflect upon some things. Examine the lies we so easily believe; open your Bible and get closer to God’s Word; and the next time you see a U.S. soldier, thank them for their service. God bless the U.S.A.
By: D. A. Slinkard

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