Don’t be surprised when the world acts like the world.
I don’t remember where or when I heard this great jewel of truth, but it stuck with me and resonates in my head every time I watch or read the news. There are times when I think, “Reason has apparently escaped us as a society.”
And apart from Christ, reason certainly has left us. Apart from Christ, it’s not ever there in the first place. We as Christians can be shocked by how far people will sink into immorality and we shake our heads in disbelief. At the same time, however, we must remember we can’t be surprised when the world acts like the world. They don’t know any better.
This is the principle found in Proverbs 4:18-19:
The path of the righteous is like the morning sun, shining ever brighter till the full light of day. But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble.
As disciples of the Master, we should know better than to stumble into the ditch. After all, the Holy Spirit illuminates our path. But apart from this illumination and guidance, our families, friends, and coworkers are left to grope through the treacherous waters of this world while sprinting at full speed. No wonder they run into “stuff.”
Today’s Scripture passage reminds us “they do not know what makes them stumble.” It’s like they’re so close to the problem they can’t see it. After all, we are the problem. Not we as Christians, but we as humans. It is our sin keeping us in darkness. It is our dirtiness keeping our eyes mired to the dangers all around us.
And apart from the grace of God the Father through Jesus Christ, we Christians would still be running full speed into the train of death heading straight for us.
But, thank the Lord, His love has shone into our dark hearts and burned away the sin and shame and gave us life and freedom. “I am the light of the world,” Jesus said in John 8:12,“Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
Our charge now is to reflect the mercy of God given to us into the lives of those around us. At the same time, we must lovingly remain patient as they continue acting like we once did.
As we watch our step, we have to remember to not blame the world for acting like the world. Until we show them “the most excellent way” (1 Corinthians 12:31b), they won’t know any better. And even then, we’re not their Savior.
Watch your step and step toward those who are stepping through darkness to lead them to His light.