“But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. 2 For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, 3 heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, 4 treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, 5 having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.” ESV 2 Timothy 3:1-5
I was stunned as I heard about the senseless murders in Arizona this week that killed six people and injured fourteen others. How could such a heinous act occur? And Why? Why did innocent people die? Why are parents grieving over the loss of a beautiful nine-year-old girl? Why is a federal judge dead? Why is Congresswoman Giffords lying in a hospital room with a bullet wound to her head? Why?
As I watched the news the following morning, while still stunned by the facts of the event, I was initially amused by the reporting. My amusement quickly turned to dismay and then to anger when I saw the “spin” that the talking heads of television were putting on the horrible event. On more than one channel the “spin” pointed a finger of blame towards political opponents of the Congresswoman. Really? Give me a break! Does every event in this nation have to be politicized? Can we not call a spade a spade in this country?
My feet are firmly planted on solid ground when I say that the senseless murders in Arizona were not the blame of The Tea Party, The Republican Party, or any party or individual politician. No, the murders in Arizona are the product of the evil, sinful actions of an evil man, living in evil days, in a self-glorifying society that has generally abandoned God. The root cause of the Arizona murders is sin.
We Americans love ourselves. Not our neighbors necessarily, but literally ourselves. We want to do things “our way.” We want things now; not later. Held captive by self-love we begin to covet and become “proud, arrogant, abusive…ungrateful…heartless…brutal” and lacking even basic levels of “self-control.” And our scripture tells us that by loving ourselves so dearly, we become “lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God.”
The Arizona murders were rooted in the self-centered pleasures of an evil, sinful man.
I pray for the families of the grieving. I pray for the healing of the wounded. I pray for swift justice for the assailant. I pray that America would recognize sin as the blame. Lastly, I pray that this senseless act awakens America from her slumber and turns her (us; you; me) to God.
Will you be a lover of self or a lover of God?