A Matter of the Heart

Like most Americans, I was shocked and grieved at the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas. The politicians (at long last) seem serious about helping solve the problem of gun violence in our schools. They are considering stricter gun and red flag laws, longer wait times for purchasing a gun and deeper background checks. All of these sound good but they are strictly defensive solutions to the problem.

You see, the real problem in all of these shootings is a heart problem. The shooter’s heart is filled with hate and self-loathing and he is going to take as many people with him in his desire to end his own life. Every other component in these situations is external to the shooter except for his own heart problem and mental instability. I would bet that every shooter suffers from some form of mental illness but with many of these shooters the problem lies deeper within them. It is about their heart.

Scripture states that “as a man thinketh in his heart, so is he.” Proverbs 23:7 If all a person thinks about is their hatred of others then that person becomes by definition a hate-filled person. Sooner or later, that hatred will surface. It will surface in ways that may seem non-violent, i.e. hateful words or it may surface in ways that will hurt others physically. Every weekend we watch as this hatred takes the lives of innocent people in our cities. We need to call it what it is: evil in its purest form.

Murder is evil and mass murder is evil unleashed on an unsuspecting public. Why are so many of our young men committing these crimes? It’s simple, their hearts are filled with hatred, a form of evil. As society works on stopping these crimes, we must work together to change the environment this hatred grows in.

Each of us has a level of influence in our society. Are we contributing to a hate-filled atmosphere? Do we view others who do look like us or do not agree with us politically as our enemy and do we hate them in our hearts? Do we listen to news shows that just stoke the hatred? If so, we need to stop. We can begin with ourselves and be determined to not contribute to the problem. We must truly learn to love our neighbors as ourselves if we want to change the atmosphere in this country. And it must not matter if our neighbor is not racially, ethnically or politically in line with us, we must learn to love others. If we do learn to love them that love will spread and the atmosphere in our cities will change.

When God Weeps…

 

candlelight candles

Photo by Irina Anastasiu on Pexels.com

This weekend another eleven innocent lives were taken at a Jewish Synagogue in Pittsburgh. We feel shocked and saddened by another act of senseless violence committed by a person filled with hatred. We seek for answers and we find none. We want to blame someone and so we lash out at whoever we feel is responsible for this terrible crime.

star-of-david-278820_640photo by kahln/courtesy of Pixabay.

Regardless of who we think is responsible, or what laws we think have allowed this tragedy to happen, we all must look deep inside of our own hearts. If we want the hatred and division to stop in our society, we must take an inventory of ourselves and start there.

Haters hate because they want to. They don’t need any help hating, they just need someone to hate. They will find an outlet for their hate and it will make them feel justified in their hearts. We all have to ask ourselves if we are becoming part of the problem of hatred and division in this country.

No matter where we are on the political spectrum, are we being sucked into a culture of anger and hatred? Do we feel justified in allowing ourselves to demonize those of another political or religious persuasion? Have we been manipulated by the pundits to view others as enemies instead of people with differing opinions or beliefs?

Each of must examine our own hearts. None of us are justified in hating others because of the color of their skin or because of their religious or political affiliation. We must take a few steps back and reject rhetoric when we hear others trying to divide us and keep us apart from each other.

Let’s all stop becoming part of the problem and become part of the solution.

“If you take away the yoke from your midst,

the pointing of the finger, and speaking wickedness,

If you extend your soul to the hungry,

And satisfy the afflicted soul,

Then your light shall dawn in the darkness,

And your darkness shall be as the noonday.”

Isaiah 58: 9 – 10 (NKJV)