Today is the one year anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. This incident lead to months and months of heated debate over gun control vs. gun owner rights. That same day a man stabbed 24 people at a Chinese school. While there were no fatalities you can be certain the emotional and psychological trauma is still causing pain, just as it is in Newtown.
When these events occur there’s always debates and discussion on how to prevent tragedy from occurring again. Our society, especially lawmakers, seem to think that if we place more boundaries on people (gun control, curfews, more security, more restrictions) then it will make us a safer people. Like ibuprofen brings down a fever, these measures do work, to a degree. They are not a solution though.
We get sick because of an infection caused by a virus or bacteria. We treat the symptoms with medicine (e.g. ibuprofen for pain and fever). We might feel a little better but the only way we feel well is when the invading germs are gone.
We can make laws to corral ourselves into a fenced area and tell ourselves, “These are our boundaries.” It might prevent humans from being inhuman to other humans, but I doubt it. Men’s hearts invent all sorts of evil (Ps 140:2, Mark 7:21-22). That’s why humanism is a dead-end philosophy. It’s why the idea of following one’s heart is a path to nowhere. This stuff happens because of a corrupt heart (Jer 17:9) and only a spiritual transplanting of the heart can fix it. Education won’t. Money won’t. Being “good people” won’t either.
Consider the passages:
Psalm 51:10 “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.”
Psalm 119:2,10 “I seek you with all my heart”
Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding”
Ezekiel 11:19 “I will give them an undivided heart and put a new spirit in them; I will remove from them their heart of stone and give them a heart of flesh.”
Matthew 22:37-40 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind”
Romans 5:5 “because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”
Romans 10:9 “if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”
I’m not talking about reading the Bible, going to church, and trying to be better people. I’m not talking about being religious. I’m talking about throwing up our hands, knowing our hearts are corrupt and we can’t fix them. Then allowing God, through belief in those passages to give us new hearts. That’s where real change will start.
Truth takeaway: The problems with this world (even with some who call themselves “Christians”) is a dead heart. From that dead heart we seek life through our own wisdom and knowledge of what we think is best – we follow our hearts. The only way to get real life is to ask God for it and believe we will receive it directly from God himself.