The Heart of the Problem

Many of what we see in this world as evil – shootings, wars, genocide, bombings, the destruction of land, loneliness, anger, hatred … all this and more can be boiled down to being a problem of the heart. In Jeremiah 12: 11 NKJV, God says;

They have made it desolate;
Desolate, it mourns to Me;
The whole land is made desolate,
Because no one takes it to heart.

The whole problem of what is wrong is everyone one sees what is going on but refuses to do anything about it. Other versions put the last sentence as, NET – “But no one living in it will pay any heed.” Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition – “because there is none that considereth in the heart.” Complete Jewish Bible – “because nobody really cares.”

Many times we think that the government will do something about it or the UN will step in to stop it. But God says that is the problem. We as people don’t take to heart, don’t care as to what is going on in the world.

Back in the 1990’s, there were two genocides going on in this world. One the UN stepped in to help fight several years against the aggression and stop it. While a small country in the heart of Africa had a mass genocide that killed about 1,000,000 people in 100 days. They thought the UN would come to their aid but the small UN force in the country sat by and did nothing. I remember hearing about this genocide, angry that neither the UN nor the USA would do anything to stop it, I did what I could do for the small country, a six-hour drive from one border to the other, and prayed. No one came to the aid of this country. The people that were being slaughtered, banned together and took their country back. Now she is a shining example not just to Africa, but everyone what God’s love and forgiveness can do to heal a country.

Recently in the news, we have seen two young men act out because they were hurting deep down inside. BY NO MEANS AM I EXCUSING THEIR ACTS OF VIOLENCE. At least with the first young man, we know he had been trying to get the attention that he was hurting and the school and others turned a blind eye to him. The second it is not yet known if he had tried to open up about his hurt before his rampage. We know these young men had a heart problem, what about those that were around them?

Jesus had a lot to say about heart problems. In Mark chapter 7, we see the religious leaders attempting to trap Jesus for breaking their laws about washing hands before you eat.  Jesus responded to them in verse 14,

Hear Me, everyone, and understand: There is nothing that enters a man from outside which can defile him; but the things which come out of him, those are the things that defile a man.  If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear!

Apparently, His disciples were not able to understand. They were so stuck on the track of food going in and thinking of when it comes back out of the mouth. In verse 18-23, Jesus painted the picture for them.

 “Are you thus without understanding also? Do you not perceive that whatever enters a man from outside cannot defile him,  because it does not enter his heart but his stomach, and is eliminated, thus purifying all foods?” And He said, “What comes out of a man, that defiles a man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lewdness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within and defile a man.”

Well, that has nothing to do with me, right? Take a look at the last two words in the list. Pride. Foolishness.

Pride will stop us from acting. The,”I don’t want to get involved.” “It is not my cup of tea, I’m sure someone else will do it.”, or “It will take up too much of my time” are just a couple of examples of pride.

Let’s take a look at foolishness. The Greek word here — aphrosynē — means – foolishness, folly, senselessness, thoughtlessness, and recklessness. So the writer in me starts looking at thoughtlessness and the synonyms for it, carelessness, disregard, heedlessness, inattention, inconsiderateness, neglect, negligence, oversight, and unthoughtfulness. That changes everything.

It is our mission as Christians to share the love, grace, mercy, and forgiveness that God has given to us through His Son, Jesus.

When we see someone that needs to be shown the love of God through the actions of our lives and turn from reaching out to them we are neglecting our calling. We then become the one with a heart problem. What if instead of turning a blind eye to everyone we walk by, we actually just say, “Have a good day!”  or even give a smile to them. You never know how a kind action to a person could change there day.

 

(Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash)

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