As I’ve said before, the problem is not the guns in the hands, but the “stuff” in the hearts.
Matthew 12:34 states:
“For from the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks!” (or the hand strikes) parenthesis mine
We’ve all been SO devastated by this latest school shooting in Oregon. It just keeps happening! But it’s good for us to express our sorrow and grief, and yes, even anger and frustration at what seems to be an ever-increasing level of violence.
There is healing to be found in sharing. We must also have compassion on those involved and their families. My daughter just informed me that over 3/4 MILLION dollars has been go-funded for Chris, the vet that ran TO the danger and as a result was shot 7Xs. I choose to think this generosity is a more accurate reflection of the heart of our nation than the acts reported over and over and over in the news.
We state our position on either side of the discussion as to what the solution might be, with neither side having much of an affect on the opinions of the other. And yet, we still discuss. Fortunately, I think (and hope) arguing about such things is in my past. If not, I apologize. (But not for being right…) lol
Allow me to take a slightly different slant this morning.
I am absolutely certain that I will NEVER walk into a church or school, playground or grocery store and commit such a horrible act of violence.
But I’ll wager dollars to donuts that I’ll yell at the guy who cuts me off when I’m driving my family to church this morning. (Oh, wait, my WW drives on Sunday morning…) well, U get my point!
How many of us go thru life using our mouths and attitudes in ways that damage others? The old “…but words will never hurt me” is as much a lie today as it was when we were in the 4th grade. If we use our middle finger instead of our trigger finger, and we strike with words instead of bullets, if we wound the spirit of a child with our harshness instead of killing the bodies of innocents, is there an ultimate difference? Yes, o’course there is! BUT – also, alas, NO!
Today I need to take time to evaluate my heart. I need to examine my thoughts, listen to my words, both spoken and not, to “see if there be some wicked way in me“! Am I “nice” because society has placed a sign in front of me that says “No ____ allowed” all the while hiding the ugliness inside me?
Am I that much different than the gunman because the wounds I cause are hidden inside my victims and don’t bring blood?? Yes, o’course, BUT… Also, alas, NO
I think there’s a lesson for us all! Psalms 139:23,24 comes to mind;
The ultimate healing of our nation, our college campuses, our families and cities lie not in more laws and the proper enforcement of them, but in the changing of our hearts.
The more I discuss this with friends and on FaceBook, the more I’m realizing the only really helpful response I can have is to examine myself, my heart, my own ways, and change accordingly.
I’ve been challenged by the Q posed by the shooter and the now popular – #IamAChristian! If faced with the same threat, would I declare the truth? I know in the past, I have not always done so, even when faced with much less a consequence than being shot in the head.
For too long my Christianity was measured by my ability to refrain from that which I declared was wrong. As a result, I became the judge of others. In that judgement, I lost my ability to love.
Then I became friends with someone who helped me face some issues in my life over which I had lost control. (U know who UR!) A man whose political and social beliefs were as different from mine as night and day. The more we talked, the more I came to respect his Christianity.
I’ve been forced to examine and redefine my Christianity. It’s no longer as much a product of my behavior that makes me one, but a relationship with – as AA says, “My Higher Power” whom I call Jesus, The Son of the Living God.
That relationship keeps affecting my behavior in ways I do not expect.
Do U not believe as I do? Let’s talk it over. I’m finding we are more alike than we are different. Let’s focus on that. And stay together. And treat each other with respect! And Love!
P.S. Psalms 139 is an amazing chapter! U can read it HERE
Thx for the reply, Mar! U summed it up well!! Hurt people hurt people. Usually, in “socially acceptable” ways. But – as we all know too well, sometimes in ways that damage beyond reason.
In light of all the shootings, I can clearly see that when people hold themselves inside for too long, sooner or later they burst. I think about that Michael Jackson song, “Man in the Mirror.” We shouldn’t be more concerned about what others are doing, but what we are doing. We can’t make others change. All we can do is change ourselves to be the person we know our Lord wants us to be, because at the end of the day, we only have to account for our own actions and not the actions of others. I need to fix what’s inside of me and when I hurt, I don’t do anyone any good just holding it all in. Sooner or later I will burst and who knows where the hurt will splatter. These people going around shooting everyone were once hurting inside. Then, one day they just got too full of hurt and exploded that hurt all over others. You are right. It’s not the gun, it’s the person holding the gun that matters.