There are travesties mankind has wrestled with throughout every age, problems that seem to defy solution. With optimism buoyed by ignorance, pride and zeal, each generation swings at the venomous beasts that previous generations battled before. With every novel approach the problems laugh, and stay entrenched in the newly forming history of today. The stubborn problems seem incapable of being remedied though the answer seems so close at hand, so sensible, so obvious if we would just do it. If men’s hearts would change, there would be no war, there would be no poverty, there would be no injustice. But alas, no one has yet figured out how to do that. How does one change the heart of the other guy?
We can start teaching children younger, we can put some in counseling. We can make treaties and rules, penalize stricter, use social pressure, prevent the problem and deal with it decisively when it shows up. We can pray. We can hope. Have rallies, conventions and think tanks convene. We can pay for the meal for the folks behind us at McDonald’s. Sometimes minor victories are won but the war throughout history is always lost.
We are tempted to say it is only ‘some men’ that cause the worst woes in the world. The loony’s, those seized with senseless greed, the evil ones, THOSE people….if everyone would just see the world as we do, if they would be as we are, we could at last live in peace without grief over the injustices that swirl around the globe. If other people would only act as we do….yet even those humbled by the cross must measure this in their lives, how much do I think others would be better if they were like me?
At some point, it dawns on us, and if it doesn’t it should, that the world is indeed, just as we are. It does not need to become more like me, it already is.
Morality is not a matter of extent. Greed is still greed whether it is big or small. A lie is a lie irregardless of its magnitude. Stealing a small thing is no different from pilfering Wall Street. Selfishness is selfishness. Hate is hate. Envy is envy. Pride is pride. Lust is lust.
Do I think I will be judged by how much or how many others I hurt, or by the evil found in me? Oh, my soul! You are not exempt! My sins are wonderfully covered but I will still give an account, most assuredly everything done in the dark will be brought into the light, forgiven or not. Do not think because Christ has taken upon your penalty that there will be no revealing. I am not condemned, mercy of mercies, but I will be revealed. There is no progressing in the Christian walk until one fully understands self and recoils. Without it there is no hope for humility, and without humility, I may not stand before God.
If one wants to grow in their faith, they must first take time to understand themselves. When you understand yourself aright, you will no longer be mystified by the horrors you see around you but rather by the good you do see. If we try to progress without this step, we will be tempted with every work to think that the good somehow springs from ourselves, and inwardly praise our high constitution and ridicule the foul state of others. My friends, take the time to know thyself.