Once again our nation mourns following the murderous acts of a crazed gunman. It seems to be an increasing occurrence. Some reporters have expressed “shock” over what happened in Arizona on Sunday. I can’t begin to imagine the pain and sorrow felt by the families whose loved one were gunned down. My heart and prayers go out to them. However, I’m not shocked by the tragedy. Human beings are capable of perpetrating incredible acts of evil. It happens every day in places like Sudan, Mexico, India, and every other country on Earth. Somehow, we’ve come to believe that here in America we’re more civilized and things like this shouldn’t happen. But the truth is they do and they will continue for one thing which doesn’t change anywhere or at anytime is the fallen, corrupted nature of humanity.
It is as Paul wrote to the Romans:
As the Scriptures say, “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.” (Ps. 14:1-3; 53:1-3)
“Their talk is foul, like the stench from an open grave.
Their tongues are filled with lies.” (Ps. 5:9)
“Snake venom drips from their lips.”(Ps. 140:3)
“Their mouths are full of cursing and bitterness.” (Ps. 10:7)
“They rush to commit murder. Destruction and misery always follow them.
They don’t know where to find peace.” (Is. 59:7-8)
“They have no fear of God at all.”(Ps. 36:1)
(Romans 3:10-18; NLT)
Left without grace, all would end up like those Paul describes. Imagine a place filled only with those who are like the ones depicted in Romans 3 and you can understand why Hell is so hellish. Because some reject God’s grace we get a taste of Hell here on Earth. That’s why I’m not shocked by such atrocious deeds or when people act in hurtful ways.
I never cease to be amazed however, when I witness people acting in loving and grace-filled ways. For such acts go against human nature and reveal that God is alive and active in our world. I’m in awe of couples who stay married for decades. I marvel when people give sacrificially to benefit people they will never meet. I amazed by people who forgive others that have caused them great pain. I’m astonished by acts with kindness and gentleness. None of these things happen, whether they are simple or spectacular, apart from the grace of God. And that’s what makes them truly amazing.