Shootings and Selfishness

We sat around the dinner table as a family, using a recent gift of conversation starters. The question was “If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?” Our oldest without hesitation answered, “My selfishness!”.

I tried not to make a big deal of this answer in the moment, because I have a tendency to get overly effusive and with a tween, I am learning the fine art of playing it cool. But this was a huge answer, because it is something that my husband and I have been praying about for our girl for years.

As parents, we can instill truth and values into the hearts of our children, but we are incapable of changing their hearts. Only God can do that. And so, we have learned to rely on Him to do the work that only He can do.

But selfishness is a huge issue, one that impacts all of life.

As I woke up with a sore throat this morning, I was already feeling miserable. And then I read about the shootings in Oregon yesterday and how the shooter targeted Christians. There is a reason I don’t read or watch news stories and perhaps this is a bit of selfishness on my part. Stories like these just break my heart in two. But maybe my heart needs to be broken. Maybe I need to wake up to the reality that sin has truly infiltrated the hearts of man and the result is an evil that is too big for us to handle. An evil that we are incapable of controlling.

While I will not claim to know anything about the gunman, what I do know is that when atrocities like this occur, they are born out of selfishness. There is a twisted desire for control and making a name for oneself that takes over the hearts of these individuals. What is so scary is the helplessness that we feel in the wake of this horrific event.

All I know to do is to hold my babies closer and to pray even more earnestly for two things:  that God would change the hearts of people, drawing them to Himself and that Jesus would come quickly.

Our selfishness cannot stand in the presence of God’s holiness and quite frankly, we shouldn’t want it to. The results of selfishness are devastating to ourselves and to others. We see evidence of this daily and yet we still hold on with death grips to our own rights, our own plans, our own opinions.

While we can’t go back in time and change the events that occurred on an Oregon campus, we can pray for the hearts of our college students, our youth, our children, for all of humanity that the selfishness in our hearts would be confronted by God’s holiness and that we would submit to His authority in our lives.

Because until this happens, we will continue to wake up to devastating news stories.

Jesus, come quickly.

 

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