A New Year’s Resolution

2009It’s a fairly quite morning here in our home so with high hopes I grab my Bible, computer and a cup of coffee and head to my favorite spot in the living room with a blanket and pillow for comfort.  It’s the second day of the New Year.  We spent Wednesday evening singing in the New Year with our church family and then spent the day yesterday with some dear friends.  The children rode 4-wheelers and go-carts, we shot guns and arrows, they lit fireworks, we fellowshipped and enjoyed the blessings of the first day of the year.  But now, with the holidays over, it’s time to get back to the normal routines of life.  So in order to catch up on the news and happenings of the world I pull out my computer and read the headlines.  I’m always somewhat hesitant in my heart, just because I get tired of horrific and gloomy news.  From the trash talk on CNN, to the report that the military is wary over our new president elect, to the murders, rapes, threats, recession, immoral politics, and talk of hate crimes; this morning was no different.  So with a deep sigh I begin to read the news.  It was then when one article grabbed my attention.  The title was:  A New Year’s Resolution: Could we be a little more polite, please?  The writer began to explain how rude people had become, as if this was a shock to any of us.  He stated that the biggest problem was that in today’s society rudeness is no longer something to be ashamed of, but rather applauded.  This is not only true among the youth but adults as well.  In fact, if we were to place blame it would have to be with the adults, for it is through their examples that the youth learn.  As the author stated the obvious throughout the article I began to wonder if he would offer a solution to this problem.  His conclusion was simply that times are getting hard, jobs are being lost, businesses are being closed and if we as a people have a hard time being kind and polite in the “boom years” how will we treat each other in the “lean years”?  On a positive note he ended saying that just maybe as life gets crueler perhaps we’ll get kinder.  As I read this I just shook my head.  Immediately, I thought of one particular passage in scripture.  The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings. (Jer 17:9-10)  What amazes me is that we actually believe that apart from God there is any kindness or good in any of us.  Mankind is not only evil but desperately wicked.  The Greek word for desperately is “anash” and it means incurable, sick, woeful.  The truth is that we can plead with people to be kinder until we’re blue in the face; we can try to enforce laws of morality among society; we can even indoctrinate children through the public school systems to live in harmony, but until a person is changed by the most Holy God above they will be desperately wicked and evil and selfish and rude.  There is no righteousness apart from God.  Don’t get me wrong.  I will teach and train my children to have good manners and to be tenderhearted and kind, but my teaching will be based upon the foundation of scripture and nothing else.  It is the Word of God planted into the hearts of each of us and the imputed righteousness of Christ that will make the difference in this world.  Teaching kindness is good, but introducing people to Christ is better.  When those around us become true children of God then the rudeness will disappear and we will begin to see a little more kindness in this world.  So, what we all need is A New Year’s Resolution:  Could we share the gospel more, please.

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