“No one is righteous—
not even one.
No one is truly wise;
no one is seeking God.
All have turned away;
all have become useless.
No one does good,
not a single one.”
“Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave.
Their tongues are filled with lies.”
“Snake venom drips from their lips.”
“Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.”
“They rush to commit murder.
Destruction and misery always follow them.
They don’t know where to find peace.”
“They have no fear of God at all.”
We watched the first installment of the new series, “The Blacklist” last night starring James Spader. Well, a few parts I watched through my fingers because I was afraid of what I’d see. “What happened to the bad guy?” I asked E. “I don’t know,” she said, “I was afraid to watch, I was sure the husband was going to get killed.” I guess we’ll never know. Needless to say, it was a scene we were not expecting and totally unprepared for.
I was almost ready for bed when I started watching it, but wide awake by the time the show was over.
All over the news, all over the world there is violence. You don’t have to look far. And cursing has become the norm, even for kids. They hear it from their parents. I compare the world now to the one I grew up in. A mistake I know. It’s something I thought I would never do and now I am. It’s hard not to, when you see such a marked difference, when you see how things have changed.
One thing I never had a moment of at any of my school campuses was real fear. All the way from Kindergarten through High School. Well, maybe I was a little afraid of BJ, she was one of the tough girls. And Steven Weigum. He was a punk. With Steven, you worked hard to be invisible. I was good at it, except for the one time I forgot to wear green on St. Patrick’s day.
From Grammar school all the way to Junior High, I heard maybe one parent say the “F’ word and I was shocked. Actually I didn’t even hear them say it, the daughter said she overheard her Mom say it…….once.
I feel sad for kids today. In many ways, they live in a callous and harsh world. Images of violence fills their culture through television, movies, video games and even music. Fear is part and parcel of their everyday world at school since all the school shootings started. Even us adults have to work hard to deprogram our minds from what we see and hear all day, on the news, at work. It would be easy to lose heart, to lose hope. To despair even.
It’s why I try to spend time alone with God the very first part of my day and saturate myself with His words. Sometimes I spend an hour, sometimes it’s 20 minutes, it’s just Him and me getting back to ground zero. Giving my mind and heart over to Him gets me back on track, brings me back home. It takes all that negative the world gives out and replaces it with what’s good.
It is an awesome thing to think we can have an open session with the God of the Universe anytime we want it. In fact, He seeks it…….delights in it. May it never get old for me.
It’s easy to think I’m a pretty good person when I watch a show like we watched last night where really bad guys are plotting to wreak havoc on the world, until I realize that in the verses above, the Apostle Paul is talking about all of us without Jesus.
And when I call that person “a name” for cutting me off on the freeway? I realize there is less distance between me and those character references in the book of Romans than I thought.
He reminds me of how my pitiful little rags of righteousness looked before they were dipped in His fountain.
It’s humbling, yes it is. But it’s good.
If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:8,9