Let it go

When someone kills innocent children, or religion justifies beheadings, or fraudsters scam the life savings out of people, or the insanity of government policy makes things worse not better, or banks rake in huge profits, or bullies drive people to suicide, I can’t just let it go. I get angry, exasperated and condemning. I shout at the TV, I want to fire off a froth-filled letter to the editor, or get together with friends and moan for hours about the utter stupidity of people, because this world infuriates me.

I wonder why I watch or listen to the News at all, when all it does it put my blood pressure up. But I also feel guilty turning the TV off, or changing channels, or turning to a less depressing page in the newspaper when another tragedy happens somewhere in the world, or another all-too-young gang member has been shot, or another cyclist and parent of four has been killed by a careless driver. I worry that I’m getting compassion fatigue and a cold heart, and I’m turning inward rather than outward. I can’t, therefore, just let the world go its merry way, can I? And as a Christian shouldn’t I be concerned about what’s happening? Didn’t God so love the world, etc?

But why allow myself to get angry and depressed when there’s nothing I can do about the same old problems that persist and repeat year after year, and no one yet has been able to solve – like wars, mass shootings, terrorism, invasions by aggressors, cash grabs by business and government, incompetent leadership, and the seven deadly sins? And God doesn’t seem to be dealing with them either. Somehow he’s able to let people be people and repeat their stupidity. He’s able to let it go.

And according to Paul in Romans 8:20, “the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it.” So this infuriating, frustrating mess we live in today was actually intended by God. It has to happen this way. And Paul explains why in Romans 1:21; it’s because people can easily know God but intentionally reject him, and so “their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened,” and God “gave them over to a depraved mind.” He let them go their merry way, and he still does.

He doesn’t condemn, he just lets them carry on. So if he can do that, can I do it too? Can I do as he does and let things in this world unfold as they must, and trust in God’s wisdom? In other words, for now, just let it go.


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