We’re All Made of the Same Material
Recently, I visited White Sands National Monument near Alamogordo, NM. I arrived at 0800, to make sure I didn’t get caught in the noonday sun – the worst time to visit. But the opening of the park was delayed. White Sands National Monument is located within the boundaries of White Sands Missile Range and a rocket was due to be launched between 0800 and 0900. So, we all sat in our cars and waited.
During the wait. A woman got out of her car, set up a tripod and camera in the middle of the road and proceeded to take numerous photographs – of herself. Now, to be fair, the woman was well-groomed and dressed. But she was far from attractive. This woman had hard and brutish features. Yet in front of the camera she stood, in various elegant poses, taking picture after picture of herself.
It occurred to me. Those who are physically beautiful do not have a monopoly on vanity. There are plenty of ugly people who are obsessed with their own appearance and addicted to taking selfies. As painful as their looks may be, they just cannot post enough photos of themselves on social media websites. Ugliness is no guarantee against a person being vain.
Another popular myth is that poor people are immune to greed and selfishness. Yet Sonja Gonzales demolished this idea. The New York Post featured her on its front page. Sonja was a homeless person – yet she had enough possessions to fill a house. Every day this woman toted around 20 shopping carts filled with stuff – much of its garbage. She hoarded the stuff for the same reason rich people hoard things. It gave her a sense of security. But hauling 20 shopping carts through the city every day was a terrible burden – and often obstructed both pedestrian and vehicular traffic. Mayor Di Blasio ordered all but one shopping cart be confiscated and brought to the city dump.
And still another popular myth in our culture is that victims of racism cannot themselves be racist. It’s as if we attribute an inherent goodness or social sainthood to people victimized by racial discrimination. But of late, some of the most virulent and hateful racism has been displayed by those who have the reputation of being oppressed.
Consider the oppressed Israelites in Egypt. Was slavery their only problem? Did they live happily ever after once Moses delivered them from slavery? Not at all. They were no longer slaves to the Egyptians, but they were still slaves to sin (Deuteronomy 10:16). And God dealt severely with them because of their repeated rebellion (1 Corinthians 10:1-9).
But all people must guard their own hearts against racial hatred. Why? It’s because all people of every color, gender, and ethnicity are sinners. We all have the disease of sin – something we inherited from our very first parents, Adam and Eve (Romans 5:12-14). And our sin-corrupted nature is what makes us hateful, racist, greedy, and vain (Romans 7:5, 7-13).
All of us are hopeless sinners. Not until we acknowledge this can we take our first step into the Kingdom of God. We all – the ugly as well as the beautiful, the poor as well as the rich, and the oppressed as well as the oppressor – must plead “guilty” in the court of Heaven before God will forgive us and cleanse us of our sins.
We all need to come down from our pedestals, join the rest of sinful humanity, and humble ourselves before God. We must put our faith and trust in the only sacrifice for sin that God will ever recognize. This is the Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, who alone takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29).
If you aspire to be a social justice warrior, then first conquer the wickedness of your own heart (Proverbs 16:32). For you are made out of the very same stuff as those you despise. You’re afflicted with the same disease. And you’re prone to the very same sins.
PRAYER: Dear Lord Jesus, here and now I acknowledge my own sinfulness before You. I’m the one who’s guilty of vanity, greed, hatred, and racism. Please, dear Lord, forgive my sins and cleanse me in the blood You shed for my soul. Transform my sin-sick heart, remove all its hatred and evil, and fill it with Your love. Reconcile me, O God, to Yourself and to those who’ve offended me. Amen.
(Information from: http://nypost.com/2016/03/09/meet-new-york-citys-homeless-hoarder/)