And the winner is…
I have to admit that is not an honor I hope to ever achieve. This week that was the headline for the Hungarian journalist who tripped and kicked Syrian refugees fleeing for their lives. She was fired and today apologized, but how can someone do such a deplorable thing? Why does she hate refugees?
I’m not talking about helpful discussions over how to resolve Europe’s immigration crisis or the role the US should play. I’m talking about one person who has lost the capacity to love their neighbor. That’s terrible – but I don’t think she is alone.
At home it seems our government officials have lost the capacity to engage in helpful discussions over differences in policy. Our rhetoric has turned visceral. It doesn’t matter whether it is over a nuclear deal in Iran, immigration, or the plight of a county clerk in Kentucky. And that’s just this week.
What happened to civility? Why must the golden rule be turned into a golden club? I could blame the media – they love to hype fear for ratings. I could blame the courts – their removal of moral foundations and imperialistic tendencies. I could blame the politicians – their egos and pandering to special interest. I could blame the people – the clerk who doesn’t accept a religious accommodation, the immigrant that breaks our laws. Or maybe I could stop the blame game.
Jesus said if I had anger in my heart I was a murderer. Mt. 5:21-22. If I’m not careful I can quickly get angry. Oh it’s ok to get angry over the brokenness of this world manifested through injustice. But when I make that personal, I stop being an agent of God’s justice and become God. Justice becomes judgment and I am the only one capable of dispensing that judgment. But I am called to live in mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment. Jms. 2:13.
It’s easier to blame. And this blame isn’t limited to the world at large. It often roots much closer to home. I blame my spouse or my kids for my unhappiness. Last week War Room led the box office. It is a powerful movie you simply must go see. The premise is simple and profound. We waste a lot of time and energy focused on the wrong enemy. I waste energy blaming Republicans, Democrats, Media or Courts. They are not the author of injustice. Satan is the author of injustice. If I desire a world that loves God and loves their neighbor, then I better stop blaming and start praying.
I haven’t done that to the degree that I should. I am too quick to blame others. Maybe I can’t do everything, but I can go to my knees in prayer. And then I believe the Spirit will show me what I can do beginning with my family, friends and needs in my neighborhood. When I fail to do that I lack love. Love is patient. Love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered. I Cor. 13: 4-5.
So who is the winner of the world’s worst human award … ME. Like Paul I can say I am the worst of sinners. I Tim. 1:15. But praise God for the grace He poured into my life. God, help me to pour that grace into others. Help me to blame less, love more, and pray without ceasing. I want to better hear your voice and
Go and Do Likewise