A Good Report

Rather unusually, I would like to dedicate this Editorial to a very close friend who recently died. We can always learn from the lives of others. This is why biographies and autobiographies are written, read and dissected by millions of people around the world. The Bible is full of examples of people whom we can imitate (compare 1 Corinthians 11:1).

The person I want to mention here was neither famous nor rich, nor did he hold an high office. He was a caring, unassuming man, dedicated to serving others, but with a charisma that made him likeable and popular with those who knew him.

Terry McQuire died in early December of 2008. As a Church member since the early 1960’s, he had seen much change in the Church, particularly after the death of Mr. Herbert Armstrong in 1986. He was fond of quoting the fact that we must have a love of the truth (2 Thessalonians 2:10), and he certainly exemplified that most important requirement.

Like Ananias (Acts 22:12), Terry had a “good report” (Authorized Version). He was “highly respected” (New International Version) and “highly spoken of” by others (New American Bible). Neighbors had a “high opinion” of him (Bible in Basic English), as he “bore a good character” with them (Weymouth New Testament).

Our “good report” can be from those who may not necessarily agree with our religious views, but who can see our sincerity and that we live our lives without hypocrisy.

Anyone who knew Terry would testify that he was very much like Nathanael of whom Jesus said: “Behold an Israelite indeed, in whom is no guile!” (John 1:47, Authorized Version).

Terry was generous and service-orientated. He was gentle and loyal. He unquestionably had the attributes that make a true Christian. We so often look at the great and not-so-great men and women in the Bible to learn from their successes and failures. We can, likewise, do the same with our peers, and Terry, while not perfect, certainly provided us with a terrific example.

Could our legacy from those who knew us be one of having had a love of the truth and a good report among men, and that there was no guile in us? That we were generous with a service-orientated approach, and that we were unassuming, gentle and loyal? If so, we would have done very well.

Terry endured to the end (Matthew 24:13). He is now awaiting his reward. It was inspiring to see him cope with his terminal illness, with his faith intact and undiminished in any way. He waited on God’s decision on whether or not he would be healed at this time, and he accepted the result unquestioningly. That’s another good example which all of us should follow. 

You might want to listen to the last public interview with Terry, which was recorded for our StandingWatch program, just two months before he died. It is titled, “Comfort in Terminal Sickness.” When you watch this program, you will see why Terry was a man worth remembering.

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