“But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power…” 2 Tim 3:1-5 ESV
That about sums it up, doesn’t it? How, then, are we to respond?
Shall we run out, buy handguns, and get concealed-carry permits so we can start “packing” whenever we head out to the store or the movie or the workplace? (Sorry, I’m a gun owner myself, but I have trouble with the idea that we’re all gonna turn into Milla Jovanovich from Resident Evil if somebody whips out a semi-automatic in a public place, no matter how many hours we’ve spent at the shooting range.)
Shall we start testing our toddlers for signs of future psychosis and drugging them in advance? Making sure any angry, dissatisfied child will never become a threat to society? Or, better yet, subject EVERYONE to mental health exams and tests (in a field that changes from day to day) in the hopes of weeding out those who might slip over the edge and cause harm to others?
Obviously, those are knee-jerk reactions, born from emotions and our desperation to maintain some sense of security in our lives. Are those notions logical, rational, sane? No.
And that’s the trouble. According to Newton’s law, every action produces an equal and opposite reaction. But in the case of insane human behavior, we can’t allow ourselves to yield to Newton’s law. The automatic, emotional response to the acts of insanity that take place in the world around us are based in fear, shock, horror, and dismay; not reason, sound judgment, good sense, or a state of calm, clear, mental health.
Each time we face one of these horrible events in our nation, or in our world, we must remember, one act of insanity cannot be balanced by an equal and opposite act of insanity… Step back, pray, seek God’s ways and His will, and above all, don’t react out of fear, because then you lose your power to respond in faith, to respond with a rational voice, to step outside ourselves and our desire to protect and defend our own in order to determine the necessary actions for the greater good.