6/28/14 Mike about 50
“This whole world is going to hell and it’s all because of those greedy corporations and bankers” a man named Mike told me in a sidewalk conversation. Mike said he believes in God, but with this attitude of blaming the rich, he has either lost sight of his need for forgiveness of his own sins or he never knew it in the first place. Later on in our conversation, he blamed the media, the corrupt messages in movies and music, for the problems of sin and corruption in the world all around us. I was beginning to see that his faith was in a God who could save him from all the sins of the world around him, not from his own. The truth is, according to Ephesians 2, that there are three main sources for all the sin in the world – the world system, which might include the rich and the influences of the media; the flesh, which would include our own selfish desires; and the devil, which would include demonic influences in the spiritual realm. A focus on any one of these areas to the exclusion of the others easily leads us into self-righteous legalism, a paranoid suspicion that robs our joy, or overwhelming guilt and self-loathing. Mike’s blaming of the rich was serving as an effective smokescreen for his own sin, and only toward the end of a long conversation about these sources of sin did he begin to acknowledge his own guilt and need for the Savior. In our condemnation of the sins of the world, let’s not forget the selfish, prideful, sinful desires within our own hearts. There is grace and the joy of forgiveness when we do!