Ax-Murderers and Other Really Bad People
Thus says the Lord: behold, against this family I am devising disaster, from which you cannot remove your necks, and you shall not walk haughtily, for it will be a time of disaster. Micah 2:3
It’s become a satirical inside joke in our family. When I ask the kids if they understand why I’m concerned about some questionable choice, they will respond, You don’t want me to do this because you’re afraid it will lead me to become an ax-murdering psychopath. The implication is, that little indiscretions are no big deal, but they just might lead to the really big, bad sins.
As Christians, we tend to do this. Because different struggles have very different consequences, we deem the ones without any obvious repercussions to be minor. Thus, we may indulge in our little struggles while condescending to those who commit the really big sins.
In today’s passage, Micah railed against the pride of those who claimed to follow God, while actually following themselves. Their crime wasn’t that they were ax-murderers, it was that they lived for their own financial gain, caring nothing about their neighbors. They claimed to be God’s people, but in their pride, they lived only for themselves. They probably even considered it their religious duty to condemn the really big bad sins around them.
This is tragically easy for Christians to do. It makes us feel so good about ourselves if we can construct a list of horrible things that we don’t struggle with – smoking, adultery, drug addiction – and then look down on those who do struggle. Sure, we may be arrogant and condescending, but at least we don’t smoke.
Because we’re not ax-murders, we believe we are better than others. Like those Micah wrote about, we become blinded by pride, the sin that God perhaps hates most in us.
The truth is though, we all have some struggle. We must allow that struggle to keep us humbly dependent on God. Prideful condescension to those who fail differently always distances us from God and then blinds us to that separation. If we want faith, and if we want to know God, we must remain humble. Even though we may not be ax-murderers, we all struggle with something.