Pain in our bodies is not without a cause; it’s a signal from the nervous system that something is wrong. The same is true for our dear planet earth; it’s receiving electrified surges of pain that translate worldwide as something is wrong. We can ignore all this distress, but things will only worsen if we do. You see, because of our wrongdoings: turning our backs on God and mistreating one another is why the earth is in such pain.
The land suffers for the sins of its people. The earth languishes, the crops wither, the skies refuse their rain, The land is defiled by crime; the people have twisted the laws of God and broken his everlasting commands (Isaiah 24:4-5, LAB).
How we treat people reflects our love for God; our love for God reflects how we treat people.
If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? (1 John 4:20)
When Jesus was asked which is the greatest commandment? He replied, Love the Lord with all your heart and soul. And the second is to love your neighbor as yourself. (Matthew 22:34-40)
Instead of hundreds and hundreds of commands that we must adhere to—we only have two. Jesus said everything—hangs on those two conditions.
The Hatfields and the McCoys kept their feud going for over a century, as the story goes. But unfortunately, the same is true for many of us. We weren’t born with these prejudices; they were taught. We’re doing our loved ones a disservice when we pass those same biases to the next generations to come, without counting the cost that God meant what He said.
When I taught school, I was always looking for ways to lead the students to the correct answers. In Matthew 7:12, God leads us to the correct answer on how to treat others:
In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets (NRSV).
To my fellow Christians, we are on display; the world is listening when we say we love the Lord, but they “hear” our actions.
If we don’t change our ways, earth pains will continue.
See you next time on Paulette Talks Faith.