What no one really wants to say
I am not a sociologist or a psychologist. I cannot tell you all the mitigating factors that lead to someone thinking that the best thing to do that day is to go to a school with a gun and take innocent lives. In the aftermath I loathe going on social media for one reason. When something like this happens, everyone becomes an armchair psychologist.
It is about bullying.
It is about mental illness.
It is about gun control.
It is about government policies.
It is about prayer in school.
It is about [insert your personal bias here].
It could be all of these things or it could be none of these things.
What no one really wants to say, though we may think it, is that this is something so much more than any of that. It is so much deeper and personal than anything a talking head on TV or social media post will admit.
This is a human heart issue.
When you look around the world it is scary to see what humans can do to other humans in the name of money, power, sex, and personal gratification. Wars are fought. People are sold as slaves. Women are objectified. Husbands abuse their wives. Men leave their children.
The bible is very honest about the state of our hearts. So, you can imagine it is not very surprised by something like this:
The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately sick; who can understand it? Jeremiah17:9
We must acknowledge this! But what we would rather do is use this opportunity to get on a moral high horse. “My political party has the answer!” Your political party cannot cure the ills of a human heart that has been marred by sin. “We just need to teach…!” Your teaching cannot take someone who is broken and make them whole. Your good deeds will not stop the next hurting and broken teenager from thinking a gun is the answer. Your positive thoughts will not stop the next Larry Nassar from abusing young girls.
Because if it is a heart issue at the core then there is only one remedy.
And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules.
It is incredible what this verse teaches us. My sick heart will not be healed. It will be ripped from my body. And something totally new and fully complete will be given in it’s place. I will live in my imperfections looking toward the One who gave me that new heart. He will cause me to live a new life.
So, I think about what I can practically do. I will teach my young boy to be aggressive on the sports field or with a guitar and then I will teach him to be tender and gentle everywhere else. I will show my daughter how a man loves a woman by loving her mother with all I have, however imperfectly. From every platform I am fortunate enough to stand on, I will declare the beauty of a God that loves us and can save us And most importantly, I will pray that His kingdom come and His will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Now what could happen if a bunch of people with these new hearts got together on mission? What kind of work could those people do, led by the One who gave them the heart transplant? Could they possibly take the good news of the kingdom of God into dark places? Could they possibly have a real effect on the culture they live in?
I think the bible screams to us a clear answer to the last question: YES!
So, Christian, do not skirt your responsibility. Love God and love your neighbor. If every Christian did this I truly believe we would begin to see change. And maybe in that change, next year there will be one less school shooter. Maybe there will be less woman posting #metoo. Maybe more men will be a father to child they helped create. Maybe the glory and knowledge of God will truly begin to cover the earth like the waters cover the sea.