Today, I shared with my class the teachings of Jesus from Matthew 15:1-10. Sometimes I wonder if more people need to be reminded that it is what comes out of a person (and his/her wicked heart) that makes him/her unclean. Actions and words reflect heart conditions.
This teaching seems so timely when I consider what I have been witnessing on Facebook over the past couple of days. Professing "Christians" who have rejoiced over the killing of a man, or those who have engaged in character assassinations of political candidates who they don't particularly like - these are not the actions befitting one who claims to know Jesus Christ. Somehow, I think that if Jesus Himself were sitting beside these individuals as they readied their status updates, they would probably think twice about the things that they've written.
Don't get me wrong - I am glad that there is closure for so many families who have lost loved ones during the 9/11 attack, and I am thankful that a very dangerous individual is no longer a threat to our shores. However, celebrating the brutal death of anyone, and taking delight in it, elevates the importance of man's justice and diminishes the greatness of God's justice.
God is a holy God and a just God, and His judgment is perfect; He is fit to judge the living and the dead. All of us, however, are unrighteous and sinful, and only justified ourselves by the grace of a loving Father. Man's justice is therefore incomplete at best, and imperfect. There is no joy to be had in meting out a human "judgment" that is neither complete nor righteous.
**And as I consider the individuals who have launched gloating and/or cruel, personal attacks on the leaders of our nation's political parties (the one who won as well as the others who didn't), I wonder where the love that Jesus commands us to have for our neighbours has gone. The malicious words that come out do much to reveal the nature of the speaker's heart, and it is this that makes the person unclean in the eyes of God. Though everyone is entitled to his/her opinion, when I observe the vitriol that drips from some of the comments made on Facebook regarding a political leader, I cannot help but wonder how this glorifies God or obeys His greatest commandments.
Are we all guilty of having dirty mouths and unclean hearts? Absolutely. There is no one righteous, not even one (Romans 3:10). But I think it is time we all checked our hearts, and examined our words and thoughts. If we confess with our mouths that Jesus is Lord, we are responsible for representing Him in this world. By His grace, may we do so with integrity and love, rather than allow our filth to further contaminate an already-polluted world.
** Whoa, you say. Where is all of this coming from, Mrs L? Besides the many character-assassinating remarks made by some very politically-charged "Christians" that I knew on Facebook, I had the misfortune of having to witness a barrage of very hateful remarks targeted at one specific political leader who did not win the election. I was forced to unfriend this individual after I challenged them on their very vengeful remarks, only to be verbally attacked by this person and their relative, neither of whom showed the slightest remorse for their nasty comments but offered a thousand reasons as to why they were somehow justified in their malicious speech toward this political leader. Free speech? Yes. But let's either be fair and godly, or stop saying that you're a Christian. As Emerson once said, "What you do speaks so loudly that I cannot hear what you say." Their actions all but nullified their claims of being Christians.