Monday, October 10, 2005

How to know what we're really made of

Looting has followed the earthquake along the India-Pakistan border, as surely as it followed the flooding in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina, and as surely as it has and will follow other disasters.

I'd like to think that in the midst of a disaster, I would behave honorably. I wouldn't steal (except maybe absolute necessities that couldn't be had any other way) , or shoot at rescuers. I'd like to think so.

I'd also like to think I would jump in front of a car to save somebody dear to me.

The question I must ask myself is, am I generally a selfless, courageous, and God-fearing man? Because only to the degree that I am in normal circumstances can I hope to be so in crises. If I have justified stealing little things here and there, for example, it's possible I might justify stealing bigger items after a crisis. "After all, everybody else is doing it. If I don't take it, somebody else will." Or if I place too much value on comfort and the avoidance of pain, I might very well be less likely to risk my life for another. I read not long ago about a ship sinking, and no longer did "women and children first" apply. Many women and children perished because scores of men took left the ship first. I couldn't see myself doing that, just as I couldn't see myself letting a loved one perish, and couldn't imagine stealing stereos and the like.

Lord, help me to be a man of honor and courage. Show me the heart that Jesus had when he so bravely and selflessly went to the cross on our behalf. Let me be the right kind of man each and every day so that when crises do come I'll continue to honor You. In Jesus' name, Amen.

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