Live with Grace. This includes things like going "not so much by the book, but by the heart" (as Barney puts it) in the way you deal with people. It includes learning to give people a second chance, to forgive, to treat others the way you'd like to be treated. But this ideal isn't always easy to live up to, as I'm sure you already know.
That's why you also need the second key for living in Mayberry...
2. Value Other People
You might like to believe this is just common sense, but the truth is that many people today seem to be more concerned with “taking care of Number One” than with taking care of anyone else. The evening news is filled with stories about employees who didn’t care who they had to step on as they climbed the corporate ladder and parents who were more concerned with getting their next high than providing a safe environment for their children. Headlines tell of countless others who were willing to steal and cheat to get what they want with no regard for those who are hurt by their actions.
But in Mayberry, Andy and others give us example after example of a better way of life...
Valuing others means you can’t truly be happy when you get what you want unless you can get it without harming your neighbor. For instance, in “The Pickle Story”, Andy and Barney didn’t mind switching Aunt Bee’s homemade pickles for store-bought ones when they thought no one would get hurt; but when they saw how important the pickle contest was to Mrs. Johnson, they had to make things right. Andy said he just couldn’t live with himself if he knew Mrs. Johnson had been beaten by a store-bought pickle!
Valuing others means you care about their feelings, so over and over, we see Andy going out of his way to help Barney save face. He wants his friend to feel good about himself and to be liked and respected by others. Think of the cave rescue episode, when Andy and Helen went back into the cave just so they'd be there for Barney to find them and Barney wouldn't have to be embarrassed. Or there's the episode where the convict swears he'll "get" Barney, and Andy intentionally sets Barney up to be the hero. It's not enough to just catch the bad guy, but Andy wants to restore Barney's self-confidence, too, if he can! A true friend will care about the other person and do what's best for him, even when it means going out of your way or not getting the glory you could have had for yourself. It takes a little bit of humility!
Andy cares about others’ feelings, so he’s happy when Aunt Bee shows an interest in dating Mr. Goss, the dry-cleaner, in “Wedding Bells for Aunt Bee”. But when Andy discovers that Aunt Bee was only pretending to like Mr. Goss in order to make life easier for Andy and Helen (because she valued them), he refuses to take the easy road she offers him. Instead, he reminds her:
“You have to understand something, Aunt Bee. Among folks that love each other, like we do, nothing can be best for us unless it’s best for you!”A lifestyle of showing this kind of love and respect may seem easy at times (which is good), but it often calls us to go out on a limb – to put ourselves at risk – in order to defend others’ rights or help them at a personal cost. As with yesterday's key, even the folks in Mayberry sometimes struggled with this, but more than once - repeatedly - we see Andy and others taking up the cause of people they thought were being wrongfully evicted, persecuted, or otherwise mistreated.
|The Taylors happily help Mr. Myers|
move in with them until he can
get back on his feet.
When was the last time you stepped out of your comfort zone to help someone in need?
What can you do to stand up against injustice or speak out against prejudice?
Just think how many people might be inspired to change their own lives if they saw enough of us living out this kind of sacrificial love on a regular basis! It may seem so simple, but I believe this is truly "change the world" stuff!
The third key to living in Mayberry will help with these first two, so...
CLICK HERE to see what it is!