There’s a lot of things messed up in America right now. Racism, inequality, pay gaps, abusive medical doctors, abusive priests, abusive pastors, etc. all are justifiable objects of disgust and outrage.
But there’s more. The way churches treat pastors is often extraordinarily inappropriate. The way some church leaders treat others is also at times absolutely evil.
But there’s more. There are kids who are bullied at school. There are workers who are tormented by power hungry bosses. There are women whose husbands or ‘partners’ treat them like punching bags- both physically and verbally.
But there’s more. Wives can be found who cheat on their husbands, beat their children, or even kill them.
But there’s more. Government officials lie without regard to any semblance of decency. The steal, cheat, and accept donations from the wealthy with the express purpose of doing the bidding of their donors.
But there’s more. Greed and selfishness are found everywhere among institutions and individuals.
But there’s more. (fill in the blank with your pet peeve __________________________________________________________).
The one thing all of these outrageous acts have in common is that they are only outrageous to the people not doing them. To racists, racism is perfectly fine. To the greedy, greed is good. To the bully, bullying is ok. To the abusive priest, abuse is satisfaction. In sum, we are never outraged by our own sins but we are always outraged by the sins of others.
Why is that? Because we give ourselves permission to sin and since we enjoy our sins, we give ourselves openended permission to continue them.
Truth told, we’re not really all that outraged at evil and injustice. We’re outraged when other people do them. But if we want to fix society we need to be as outraged at our own wickedness as we are at everyone else’s. But of course that will never happen. Because – no matter how much we’re taught to deny it – we are all totally depraved. We are all utterly unconcerned with really being good until the grace of God intervenes and we are exposed for the monsters we are.
Then redemption can happen. Then things can change.
The effects of sin are all around us and within us. And so they shall remain until we ourselves are different.