Note: The video of this commentary can be found at: https://youtu.be/R7cfHs15CNQ
It’s More than Selfish
For the last few days, we have all been watching people go crazy. While society hasn’t broken down, it has certainly proven to itself that Agent ‘K’ in the “Men in Black” movie was absolutely correct when he said:
“A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals and you know it.”
And, when people are scared, they are the most panicky, dangerous animals in the planet. It seems obvious to everyone, whether you are a Christian or not, that there is something horribly wrong with what is going on around us. But for those of us who have spent some time in church, or in reading scripture, we have a pretty simple name for it.
In Matthew 22:36-40 some Pharisees asked Jesus which commandment he thought was the most important. To which, Jesus replied that there were only two important ones.
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”
The second, of the two great commandments, is for us to love our neighbors as much as we love ourselves, and this is, fundamentally, a condemnation of selfishness. It’s okay for us to take care of ourselves, and it’s okay for us to be concerned for our own welfare, but it’s not okay for us to be so selfish that we no longer care about the needs of our neighbors, and indeed take so much for ourselves, that there our neighbors cannot meet their most basic needs.
There’s no way that any one family, let alone any one person, really needed to go out and buy a hundred rolls of toilet paper or several gallons of hand sanitizer. I’ve seen a large bottle of hand sanitizer, out in a public place at church, last through three or four entire flu seasons for our entire congregation. I’m sure that there is no good reason that anyone really needed to buy an entire case of them for themselves.
If you’ve been shopping this week, or if you’ve seen the photographs of your friends who have, you probably noticed that the shelves are empty of almost anything remotely edible. Sure, we’re going to need food to eat, but you know what? Since those stores normally provide the food that most of us need week in, and week out, year in, and year out, it seems obvious that people are not only stocking up, but that, in their fear and panic, they have almost certainly bought more than they can possibly use and my bet is that, while some of our neighbors are going hungry, much of that food is going to spoil and go to waste.
And that bothers me.
Folks, I’m not going to mince words here. This kind of behavior is not only selfish, and not only tragic.
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