Us? A part of wrongdoing?
Even if we feel guilty, God is greater than our feelings, and he knows everything. —1 John 3:20
A great misdemeanor occurred. Someone left the door to the refrigerator in the workroom ajar on the Friday afternoon of the three-day weekend and yep, come Tuesday morning, someone’s something on the top shelf beside the unclaimed yogurt six-pack is no longer as edible as should be.
Oh, the eye rolling, the pondering, and then the track down questions begin to accrue and rise.
Great misdemeanors occur all the time. When something goes terribly wrong, and, if you ask the right person on the right day, something always seems to be going terribly wrong, here’s the common thread: we look to the group or the individual and peg him, her or them as guilty.
I am not here to deliberate their guilt; I’m here to speak of our collective guilt. There is a systemic truth we tend to ignore. We are all a part of someone else’s wrongdoing. Yes, it is true that, as a whole, we didn’t have a specific hand in the wrongdoing. This is unarguable. However, we are a part of the collective conscious of humanity. We may not be the rock that has been tossed into the pond, but we are all the water.
In 1 John 3:11-24, John speaks to our collective responsibly to love one another in the plural sense—we. He’s not singling anyone out. We are all in this command to love. Specifically, John says we are not to just say we love one another; we are to show this love by our actions (v.18).
Here love isn’t a feeling. It is an action. As an action, it is a response as well as it is a responsibility. John is right. God does know everything, including how to help us raise our common guilt to better the world. Chances are you weren’t the one who left the refrigerator door opened this past Friday afternoon, but we can all absorb and learn from a mistake with less finger pointing and more love in action.
PRAYER: Help us see that we all own a piece of this, Lord. And then help us do something about this with love. Amen.