Reflecting upon these last years, it is sad to think about the evil and destruction in our world. From the shootings at a movie theater in Colorado to the college campus shootings at Virginia Tech, we have felt the effects of sin in the midst of our nation. Within these last months, we witnessed a horrific tragedy as one young man took the lives of 26 people, 20 of them being innocent children. It is in the midst of these unspeakable horrors that we begin to feel the effects of where we are as a nation.
We have chosen as a nation to not allow prayer in our schools. We have chosen as a nation to begin to remove God out of the government as we have begun to drift away from our Christian values. It is in this day and time that we begin to see how our choices have real consequences. When we decide to take prayer out of schools, we have made a bold declaration that we do not need God in our schools or in our children’s lives. We tell our children that God is not needed and that everything will be okay.
Now as we look and see these unspeakable horrors around us, we realize that something has to change. So as human beings we look for answers. However, when we look for answers we always look into ourselves. So the latest answer is to move towards gun control. We need to make tighter restrictions on those who buy guns and eliminate certain types of weapons. The thinking being that if we can stop an evil person from buying a gun then we can eliminate these events.
The problem with this solution is that it will not work because, ultimately, gun control does not change the nature of a person. When someone stands in a movie theater, or on a campus, or in a classroom and decides to shoot innocent people, their nature is evil. Therefore, if we take a person who has an evil nature and tell them they cannot buy a certain gun, they are just going to purchase a gun illegally.
The solution lies not in trying to stop or control the activity, but in changing the heart of an individual. Could it be possible that there is a person who has evil in their heart and wants to commit murder, to take away that evil nature and replace with a moral nature? Is it possible to take away evil intentions – murder – and replace them with good intentions – love? The answer is in the changing of the individual’s nature. However, the problem with this answer is that we cannot pull this off. There is no amount of “control” or “activity” that can change the nature of a person. It is a divine activity. Only Jesus can take a heart of stone and make it a heart of flesh. Only Jesus can take our evil nature and replace it with His nature of love. Only Jesus can take our hate away and give us love for our neighbor. Only Him and Him alone can accomplish these things. If we continue to try to control or stop an activity and we never deal with the heart then we will continue to experience these great tragedies.
So the answer lies in Jesus. We need Jesus to come into our lives and change us from the inside out. Jesus needs to come and place inside of us a love for our neighbor that cannot be stopped. We need Him! We need Him in our homes, we need Him in our workplaces, we need Him in our schools, we need Him in our churches, and we need Him in our nation. We need Him because He is the only one who can change a nature; He is the only one who can redeem us from the inside out. We need Him! When we get back to realizing that we need Him and we are desperate for Him that is when we will begin to experience “real change.”