The South African film director Jamie Uys’ 1980 movie hit, The Gods Must Be Crazy, portrays a dramatic clash of cultures.
In the movie, the Bushman Xi’s peaceful co-existence with the harsh Kalahari Desert is interrupted by a small, iconic object of Western Culture. This small object seems to bring untold evil upon Xi and his family. Before it entered their lives, Xi and his family enjoyed peace and harmony. Then this “evil thing” came. Suddenly everyone became selfish, thoughtless, angry and hostile toward one another. The family became filled with strife. What was this evil icon of western civilization, this source of demonic power? A Coke bottle!
Obviously, whatever the filmmaker’s intent, there is nothing inherently evil about a Coca-Cola bottle. Everyone wanted the a passive object, but no one wanted to share it. The true source of evil among Xi and his family of Bushmen is the same source of evil among us all. The Scripture explains the true source of evil in society: It’s not lack of education, not the type of government we have or don’t have. The evil is not capitalism, it’s not gender, and it’s not even poverty. The evil is sin in the human heart: “The heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, who can know it. I the Lord search the heart, I try the mind; to render to everyone according to his deeds” (Jer. 17:9–10).
Lord Acton, the British historian and statesman, once said, “Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” But that statement is flawed. The reality is that power merely gives free rein to the corruption that already exists in the human heart. The evil exists in our fallen nature, which we inherited from our original parents. Therefore, this evil must be restrained, either by a moral voice and self-controlling spirit within or by a written code and the threat of force from without.
Humankind’s problem is a heart problem, a spiritual problem. And God’s remedy? Radical (spiritual) heart surgery. After his own moral failures, King David cried out to God: “Cleanse me from my sin. … Against Thee, Thee only have I sinned and done what is evil in thy sight. …Behold I was brought forth in iniquity and in sin my mother conceived me. …Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me” (Ps. 51:2, 5, 10).
That prayer is appropriate for us all and it is a prayer that God will answer. Don’t blame circumstance, others, your parents or your spouse for the misery of your soul. The root of the problem is in you and you must allow God to administer the cure.
Almighty and merciful Father, here and now I confess to you my own sinfulness and imperfections. Please forgive and heal my sin-sick soul. Create in me a new heart, a clean heart and make me a brand new person by the power of the risen Son of God, Jesus Christ. Amen.