At a time when we are experiencing uncertainty on the political arena in many parts of the world, I can’t help sharing with you the captivating words of John White:
“In good times, it is easy to assume that our own will or even our innate decency is responsible for keeping us good. In actuality, laws and social structures are the boundaries that keep most of us out of trouble most of the time. When these structures break down, the beast emerges. That is one reason dictatorships tend to be evil. The rulers themselves may be exceptionally evil, but the lack of LEGAL RESTRAINTS makes the evil in them freer to ripen.
“Where legal restraints weaken or are thrown off by dictatorship, evil arrogantly prowls the streets. And, at such times, citizens live in fear. Without the restraint of law, evil can grow without limit, culminating in murder and the ultimate destruction of society. It is therefore important that our belief in individual freedom therefore must be tempered by a clear realization of the evil within us.
“Of course the rawer aspects of evil are contained by the law, evil is not totally hidden. It emerges in more civilized forms: vicious gossip; professional manipulation; everybody does it forms of cheating. All these give evidence of the beast within us. So do apathy in the face of suffering, indifference to need, the unwillingness to get involved in meeting needs; snobbishness, petty lusts, endemic selfishness, little lies and minor insults – all the jockeying we commonly do to keep ourselves on top and others underneath do their part to keep the beast alive. Then in times of crisis, it emerges in all its terrifying power.
“Evil almost seems to be more alive, even though in reality evil brings death. Villains have more sparkle than the saints. We relish them and envy their freedom to do the outrageous things they do. They challenge our sense of manhood or womanhood. This is mainly because evil is inherent in us. It awakens the lust in us and draws us to it. It awakens a lust in us that cannot be satisfied.” (John White, Changing on the Inside, 1991).
Since that is human nature, the best way forward, therefore, is to acknowledge the words of the prophet Jeremiah, “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” (Jeremiah 17:9, 10). Plead with God for mercy and be safe!