According to the map, we in South Carolina have a problem with envy, wrath, lust, and pride. Four out of seven isn’t good, but then again, it doesn’t surprise me. We have a lot of “Sunday Morning Christians” here. Sad but true: church attendance is harped on a lot in the Bible Belt, but walking the walk doesn’t tend to happen the other six days of the week. I fear this map exposes an ugly truth that it’s all just show, and we hope our Sunday morning activities are wiping away the consequences of the rest of our life. Cut somebody off in traffic, and they’ll flip you the bird as fast as they say “God bless you” when you sneeze.
This map shows that we’re all hypocrites. We talk of living by higher standards and better morals, but the fact is that we all have our faults, and we all hold different standards for others than we do for ourselves. These geographers busted us, plain and simple. They got the statistics that don’t lie, and organized and categorized it with names that we have no excuse for not recognizing.
I think it’s a good reminder, though, and especially at this time of year when we talk of salvation and peace on Earth. It’s good to hold up a mirror every now and then and take a good, hard look at reality. It’s good to humble ourselves and recognize the true meaning of why we needed Christ to come. Because with all of the gift giving and stress over creating “the perfect holiday,” it’s easy to forget that the true gift was given to us. We have nothing to give God that He doesn’t already have. You can’t bribe Him. You can’t hide the truth from Him. You can’t play “lets make a deal” with Him. The only thing you can give Him is your heart.
Talk doesn’t matter. It’s just noise. And according to this map, we’re making a hell of a lot of noise. Literally! So much for Peace on Earth.
But there is good news, and we celebrate it every time this year. It’s that hope has arrived, and it’s a free gift to us all. No strings attached. Just believe and receive. And if you mean it, then you can have a peace beyond all understanding. It might not be Peace on Earth, but peace in your own soul is invaluable. And it’s right there, if only you believe. But it’s not a “one and done” decision, or even a “every Sunday morning” decision. This is a decision you have to make each and every day. And yes, I know I need to try harder at this, just like everybody else.
That’s all today. Have a Happy Friday tomorrow and a great weekend.