(aka Pride and Punishment)
If I ever read the book Crime and Punishment I do not recall it. So I looked up some information online to find out what it was about. According to Cliffsnotes.com “Raskolnikov, an impoverished student, conceives of himself as being an extraordinary young man and then formulates a theory whereby the extraordinary men of the world have a right to commit any crime if they have something of worth to offer humanity.” [Emphasis mine]
That idea seems to reek of some of the things we see going on in our world today. There are those that because of their personal wealth and/or fame and/or political position and power think that they can get by with saying and doing anything, even if it is a criminal act. There are others that are average people that compromise and rationalize what they know is right, to justify doing something that is wrong. There seems to be too many people that have no filters, no conscience, no spiritual standards. In other words, it is as though anything goes; and, if you can do it and get away with it, so much the better.
Some people get to the point that they have so much pride that their way of thinking of themselves and others is distorted. Those people need to be reminded that punishment will be meted out to them at some point. There is something called Karma. One definition I found for that word from yourdictionary.com was “A force or law of nature which causes one to reap what one sows; destiny; fate.” That definition follows along with what our Bible tells us in Galatians 6:7 (NIV): “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.” We also need to be very aware that that is true whether what we “sow” is good or bad.
Isaiah 66 speaks of judgement, but also of hope. God speaking says: “‘…those who choose their own ways—delighting in their detestable sins—will not have their offerings accepted.’” (verse 3a NLT) “‘I will send them great trouble—all the things they feared. For when I called, they did not answer. When I spoke, they did not listen. They deliberately sinned before my very eyes and chose to do what they know I despise…What is all the commotion in the city? What is that terrible noise from the Temple? It is the voice of the Lord taking vengeance against his enemies.’” (verses 4 & 6 NLT)
If we determine that we want to live any way we choose, believing there will be no repercussions, we need to think again because we are fooling ourselves. Think Karma. But Isaiah 66:2b (NLT) is where the hope comes in: “‘I will bless those who have humble and contrite hearts…’”
It is time for us to push the pride aside and start learning how to humble ourselves. It is time for us to feel the sorrow and remorse for all we have done against God and others. We need to recognize the need to ask God to help us be a people that will make Him pleased to call us His children. It is time for some major changes in our thoughts and actions.
These must be our goals if we ever want to see our lives, our families, this nation and this world change for the better. There is so much pride that needs to be brought down in order for things to improve. I pray that God will show me where I am prideful so that I can work on changing that – being a more humble person. I would much prefer to see His blessings in my life than the troubles. But it is up to me to make that happen. It is up to us all to make that happen.
Let us move from the pride and punishment phase to the humility and hope phase.
Written by Karran Martin – January 26, 2021