Dead in Sin and Tresspasses or How We Managed to Rob the Girls Scouts with Glee
We hear the arguments often that man is basically good and that he only occasionally does bad things. Notwithstanding the definition of good being rightly defined, it doesn’t take too much effort to see man’s depravity at work. It isn’t difficult to see constant reminders of man’s wickedness. Just go to Google news and you’ll get your fill.
Headlines speak of lies, deception, murder, theft, hatred, racism, addictions, divorce, abuse, scandal, and war yet few ever think that they are as messed up as their neighbor. Poor, poor Mr. Otherguy.
When you parent children you learn quickly that you are not about the business of instilling evil and manipulation into their little minds and hearts; instead, you are the teacher of virtue and morality. Children bite, scream, curse, strike and beat each other without ever being taught how to sink their teeth into their sister’s arm. While we may never be as evil as we could be, we certainly have no footing when we attempt to claim the moral highroad. And if our parents go MIA from the discipline and instruction camp we usually end up on the front page.
Christ spoke directly to those who thought they were better than murderers just because they hadn’t actually committed the act when He said, “You have heard that the ancients were told, ‘YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT MURDER ‘ and ‘Whoever commits murder shall be liable to the court. But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother shall be guilty before the court; and whoever says to his brother, ‘You good-for-nothing,’ shall be guilty before the supreme court; and whoever says, ‘You fool,’ shall be guilty enough to go into the fiery hell.” Matthew 5:21-22
Jesus went after the heart. We are all born sinners and with that corrupted nature we are dead in our sin. (Eph. 2:1) We are wicked and estranged coming right out of the womb according to the Psalmist and if not for the grace of God seen in His free choice of mercy and pity, we’d be just as horrid as the most horrendous. “There, but for the grace of God, go I” isn’t just a cute bumper sticker, it’s true. I pray that rather than being in shock over sin and in dismay over evil, we can learn to grieve more because of its presence and see it more evidently in our own lives for this is what brings about humility. I believe this is the thrust of Matthew 7’s speck and plank exhortation and Galatians 6’s warning about considering yourself to be more than the nothing that you truly are. Nothing from nothing leaves nothing. The empty hand of faith.
So in light of this meditation take a look at this video. Here is a great example of what the unrestrained and untrained heart looks like in youth. All I kept hearing while watching this was Proverbs 29:15, “The rod and reproof give wisdom, But a child who gets his own way brings shame to his mother.” Shame, now there’s a word we don’t hear anymore.