A friend once asked me why as a Christian, I was against gambling. I told him that the Bible did not directly address gambling as, “Thou shalt not gamble.” My answer was one he did not expect. I referred to the words of Jesus as found in Matthew 22:39 (NKJV), “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” In gambling, my neighbor must lose for me to gain; am I being Christlike if I want my neighbor to lose money for me to gain money?
Equality is an idea we toss around in America. It is a high and lofty idea but one we rarely live up to. In Washington, most politicians are scrambling to be “king of the mountain”. Let’s be honest, both sides, Democrats and Republicans are trying to dominate the other side. In the world of governments and political groups, it is all about control and people will do almost anything to get it.
On the local human level, we say we love our neighbor, but at Christmas time, there will be a fight in electronics at the local Walmart store for the last big screen TV on sale. “I got here first, it’s mine!” Or on the job, a co-worker may do something unethical to get ahead of the rest. Most of us would say we are for equality, but are we?
The history of the world from the beginning of human interaction has been about competition, dominance, control, jealousy, wars and rumors of wars. In the beginning chapters of Genesis, the first murder was one brother killing the other because of jealousy. Later in the same book, Joseph’s brothers sold him into slavery because of hatred and jealousy.
Let’s be real, human nature stinks and is broken. If we are left to our own human instincts and tendencies then the result will be hate, quarrels, fights, murder, and even wars. Listen to the words of Isaiah 53:6 (NKJV), “All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the LORD has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.”
Christianity calls us beyond equality. The Apostle Paul instructed us to, “Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another” (Romans 12:10 NKJV). We need a lot more of this type of love going around.
I am a long way from perfect, but I’m really trying to be like Jesus. If I know my heart… I want you to live in a better house than me. I pray you drive a better car than me. I hope you have more money than me. I want you to live as free from pain, poverty, and problems as possible. I want you to be treated even beyond fairly and justly; I want you to be treated with mercy and grace. I want you to go to Heaven when you die. If we happen up at the checkout lane at Walmart, you can take my place in the line…And if you are broke, let me pay for your groceries.
In the big picture, equality is an admirable pursuit but unlikely to be achieved in this world. The weight will be thrown to one side of the fulcrum or the other depending on who is in control—good, bad, or ugly, it is the history of a broken and sinful world. If you think politics or wars will fix it—dream on! It is a matter of the heart and hearts are only transformed by God.
I have cast my life and eternity on Jesus. True equality will happen when He takes over; when the mountains will be brought low and the valleys filled, crooked places straightened, and rough places made smooth. True equality is coming when the King of kings comes again. In this life, the more we live like Jesus, the closer we get to the target of equality.
Isaiah 40:3-5 NKJV
(3) The voice of one crying in the wilderness: “Prepare the way of the LORD; Make straight in the desert A highway for our God.
(4) Every valley shall be exalted And every mountain and hill brought low; The crooked places shall be made straight And the rough places smooth;
(5) The glory of the LORD shall be revealed, And all flesh shall see it together; For the mouth of the LORD has spoken.”
When the Spirit of God opened my heart to the words of Jesus: I repented of my sins, received Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord, and began to follow Him. Please hear the words I heard, “From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand” (Matthew 4:17 NKJV).
Inside my circle, I pray you find more than equality, may you experience the Kingdom of God.
Yours on the Journey,
Harry L. Whitt