When Up is Down and Down is Up
I believe that most human beings are rational individuals, but we can sometimes attach ourselves to things which cause us to make irrational decisions. This occurs all the time. It does not even have to be a bad thing. It could be something as good as our family, country, or school. We should feel loyalty to these good things, but the question becomes “How far does our loyalty go?” Does it go so far that we reject what is right and wrong? Most of us would say, “Absolutely not!” When we are not forced to make a decision based on right or wrong involving something or someone we are loyal to, then we often think rationally and say what is right. But, when our family is threatened, our presidential candidate accused, or our school attacked, then our judgment can fail us.
This happened just this week at Penn State University. A grand jury investigation revealed that one of the coaches at Penn State had sexually molested young boys on campus and there was a cover up by some to try and protect the university. Once this came out the university did the right thing by dismissing the president and the head football coach. That should have been the end of the story for that day, but it was not. Shortly after the news broke students on campus began to riot. They threw rocks and bottles at police, tore down lamp posts, and even overturned a news van. This wasn’t just any mob. These were students attending a prestigious college, who are working on degrees, and hoping to be an integral part of our society. The problem was that their loyalty to their school, and perhaps football program, was greater than their loyalty to God, truth, or anything higher. At that moment they would rather stick up for a football coach who had failed to report these allegations to the police, than for ten innocent children who had been violated.
Jesus tells us on several occasions that our first loyalty should be to God (Matt. 22:37-38). It is ok to have other loyalties, but nothing should be above God. When we place things above God is when we begin to make irrational decisions; decisions not based on reason, but on emotions. May we commit each and every day to put God first, and to live justly in a world that often does not.