I recently read two stories that had me thinking about the depravity of man. You can read them here and here. Yes , it is true that stories like these are unfortunately common place. Humanity continues to inflict harm on itself and other forms of life, and seeing it more on the news, in movies, wherever, doesn’t make us do it less. You would think that maybe seeing it would disgust us so much that avoiding such actions would be the goal.
The reverse is true. We are numbed. It becomes no big deal that a dog is thrown off a balcony or 2 young girls are murdered by their father. We may think that we have a form of outrage or shock like I did, but I didn’t weep. My heart kind of went out to the dog and the girls, but not really. I started having an intellectual discussion with myself.
I remember years ago showing a music video to my two younger kids Mandisa and Themba. They must have been about 11 and 9 years old respectively. The song was called A Better Way by the group Downhere. The video was pretty graphic, showing the scenes from the movie Passion of the Christ of Jesus being whipped. I wanted them to listen to the words and didn’t think of the effect the video might have on them. Needless to say we didn’t finish the video because they both were emotional. They were deeply touched by what was happening to Jesus. That is the reaction we all need to have when we hear about these tragedies. It needs to be heartfelt not headfelt.
Look, the truth of the matter is we don’t know how far we would go when pushed. Most of us think we would not do anything so evil but we don’t know for sure. But evil exists, in ‘milder’ forms like lying, to egregious forms like rape and murder. Why?
Christians believe that when you see the depth and height and length and breadth of the evil in the world, you are seeing the result not only of human depravity which produces its own evil, but the compounded result of a complex system of wickedness being purveyed by millions of supernatural demons.*
Many atheists also have a belief in a spiritual world that they really can’t make sense of. The point is these two forces act on man to produce the wickedness and iniquity we see today.
So what do we do?
According to 1 John 3:8, it says, “The Son of God, (Jesus), was manifest,” or appeared, “that He might destroy the works of the devil.” That’s why He came. So I’m going to trust in Jesus. He came to destroy the works of the devil. And one of the works of the devil is to hold men captive to wickedness.
- Value your relationships. You are unlikely to destroy something you value.
- Work it out as soon as you can. Holding a grudges makes you miserable.
- Forgive, forgive, forgive. That includes your dog.
- Love, love, love. Yes, your dog too.
- Think of others before yourself.
- Don’t take life or yourself so seriously. Life is too short.
We can do what we can do. What are you doing to ensure you have good relationships? Tell me in the comments.