Yeah, yeah, its been awhile. It has been hard to wrap my head around this one, given the fact that the power that information holds may indeed be our downfall, and I am no less wallowing in the mire than anybody else. In wondering where to start, my meditations brought me to the first people, Adam and Eve, when they suddenly became able to distinguish good from evil. I can’t help think that God’s punishment for them wasn’t so much to suffer pain, but to simply know the consequences of what being able to see, and hear and make a decision or choice for which route to take brings. I also meditated on the long history of God’s people learning how to become a chosen people, a people who by their own evolution and help from God brought them to a higher place, and the pitfalls and failures that happened along the way. Lastly, I meditated on the gift that Christ gave us. Was his presence based on the knowledge that after all this time, we were completely unable to distinguish and choose good over evil on our own? That we never quite figured out how? Even after he spent three years teaching us how to be like him, how to show the world what God wanted of us, performing miracles and finally sacrificing himself so that we might, with the help of redeeming grace, become in the truest sense of the phrase…God’s chosen people.
I am disgusted how people (and yes I include myself) gravitate toward information that feeds our need to funnel anger, frustration, fear, and superiority outward onto whomever it is easy to hate and then cloak it in righteous behavior, as if only this is what following the path of goodness looks like. Whenever I feel tempted to believe a piece of information I remember: 1) that I am not without sin and better drop any stone I may want to hurl, 2) that I must treat the least among me as I would Christ, and 3) and that others may know I am walking the correct path by how I love. I fail over and over, and yet I am compelled to keep trying again and again. But it does get difficult, when I find people around me not only reveling in misinformation, but claiming it in righteous superiority that it is in accordance to their faith. It pisses me off. I know, my trial, my weakness, and it takes much of my inner strength to not lose hope and scream that they must be blind if they can’t see that isn’t what the gospel is all about.
It may take effort to verify information that comes from multiple sources. I can’t change that narrative. But, and it is a big one… BUT I can hold anyone who claims to be a person of faith and yet spends more time condemning others and spreading unchecked factually inaccurate information than working hard to love as Jesus taught us to, that you are undermining the Kingdom of Heaven more than any heathen. Its worse because you do it in the name of God and God’s church. Jesus himself was sorely tempted in the desert for 40 days, while the devil used his own scripture against him. When we are weak, hungry, sad, vulnerable and alone…its easy to fall down a rabbit hole. Be wary of wolves who flash religion and righteousness as a weapon to ward against evil and strike down those who challenge their power, instead embrace the words, deeds, lessons, and commands of Christ and just do better.
Discerning what is good and evil isn’t always clear. The greyness of it can be confusing at times. We have been offered so much instruction on which direction to move, and promises of prayers answered along the way. My prayer is that we all do better, and never let information that comes our way get us off our path.