September 16, 2012

All Have Sinned

Jeremiah 5:1-5

I thought, “… They do not know the way of the LORD… So I will go to the leaders …” But with one accord they too had broken off the yoke …
—Jeremiah 5:4-5


Activists in India have coined the word “gendercide” for the systematic killing of girls by abortion or by their “disappearance” after birth. The ages-old custom of dowries, which parents of girls have to pay the groom’s family at the time of their daughter’s marriage, makes it highly expensive to have daughters in India.

Activists assumed that the tendency to kill girls must be especially high among the masses of India’s poor. But they found that the middle and upper classes were more likely to kill their daughters because the dowry those classes were expected to pay was proportionally higher because of their wealth.

Similar stories can be repeated in country after country. Thomas Jefferson, the author of the famous words, “We hold these truths to be self-evident; that all men are created equal,” could not afford to free his slaves because he had run up too much debt buying imported luxuries.

The Bible teaches that there is no individual, class, race, gender, or political or religious group that is free of sin. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23). The humility of that awareness gives priceless balance to our lives.

Father, how can we take your love for granted, and at the same time judge others mercilessly? Give us a heart that is eager to do what’s right in society and in our own lives. Amen.

About the author — George Young

George Young, a native New Yorker, worked as a taxi driver in New York City before studying to become a pastor. Then he, his wife Ruth, and their children were missionaries for many years in northeastern Japan. They worked with ministers and believers from the Reformed Church in Japan to spread the good news of salvation in Christ and ­establish new churches. Now George and Ruth are retired and live in the northeastern United States, nearer to their children and grandchildren.

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