Lamenting the Hearts of Men

The daily news causes my heart to cringe. I mostly avoid the news until I become aware from other sources that something occurred that requires more of my attention. Unfortunately, most of the time the event is bad news.

News of natural disasters horrifies, and I feel sadness for people experiencing these tragedies. My prayers go out for them. But what horrifies even more are those tragedies caused by people—violence, both mental and physical, resulting from hate, rage, bigotry, pride, or other abhorrent outpourings of the hearts of men. (When I say men, of course I mean humankind.)

At a recent Cru staff conference, we were asked to lament what is heavy on our hearts. Lamenting is defined as  feeling or expressing sorrow or regret for something. Not only does a lament express sorrow, it also can voice feelings of regret.

My sorrow. People pursue their own way apart from God. People have forgotten God and show no regard for Him. Blinded by selfishness and self-reliance, men and women determine their way is the best way. If this is true, why do we consistently feel this world falling into a deeper spiral of despair and hopelessness? We see the evidence in the news and in our personal lives. But God has a purpose for each person. When we surrender to and live out that purpose, He is pleased to shower us with provision, peace, fulfillment, and hope. And that hope is in Christ.

To some, righteousness is a loathsome word. It is often viewed as self-righteousness and judgement. However, I’ve come to learn that righteousness simply means being right with God and right with people. How much more enjoyable would the news be if we all lived with this as our goal? Jesus, the righteousness of God, will fulfill all our desires and needs. Romans 9:33 says,

“I am placing a stone in Jerusalem [that is, Jesus] that makes people stumble, a rock that makes them fall. But anyone who trusts in him will never be disgraced.”

It hurts my heart and baffles my mind how people continue to live in ways that will bring them shame and disgrace. Why don’t people strive to live without disgrace?

My regret. I too have a heart that contains detestable things. My past actions have not always been stellar. Nor will my future actions. I am not immune to the words of sorrow I speak. Therefore, I lament not only the hearts of men, but also my own.

However, I gave and continue to offer my life in surrender to God’s plan. I trust in Jesus who willingly guides me into a life without shame. My goal is to pursue righteousness—living right with God and with people. All people.

What is your lament today?

2 thoughts on “Lamenting the Hearts of Men

  1. Pat Mullins says:

    Amen. I too am very saddened by all the hate in the world around us. The answer can only come from God.

    Of course, those of us who believe, receive righteousness from Jesus Christ, not from our works. Romans 4:5-7: “But to him who does not work but believes on Him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousness, just as David also describes the blessedness of the man to whom God Imputes righteousness apart from works: ‘Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, And whose sins are covered; Blessed is the man to whom the Lord shall not impute sin.'”
    Also Phil. 3:9 and II Cor. 5:21.

    That being said, it doesn’t mean we should not strive to live righteous lives. Believers are IN Jesus Christ, and so WANT to live righteously, and we want to live righteously because it pleases God. Ephesians 5:8-9: “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord.” I Tim. 6:11: “But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness.” And many other similar scriptures tell us to strive to live righteous lives, but imperfect as we are, we can never totally achieve sinless lives until we are fully sanctified and see Jesus in heaven. Looking forward to that day. Hallelujah!

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  2. Janelle Hartvigsen says:

    It is very sad to see what’s happening in our world. And I also believe that people have forgotten God or choose not to believe in Him. However… there is still much goodness, love and kindness and hope. I believe there are still many good people who believe in God and Jesus Christ. We have to be prayerful and remain hopeful. I won’t allow despair, sadness and discouragement to ruin my chance for happiness. Satan is real and loves nothing more than for us to feel like things are hopeless. It’s important that we replace fear with faith and continue each day to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ … love each other, pray for one another, accept and appreciate our differences… I hope and pray for these things daily. I believe we are here on earth to experience trials and adversity which humble us and give us opportunities to be strengthened and rely on God. Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ we can be forgiven, healed and strengthened… and enjoy true happiness even in the midst of our trials. I am grateful for my Savior and pray that the world can be healed through his power and grace.

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