I came across an interesting read this morning in the New York Times. It is (I have no trouble imagining) true that the technology world is a boys club. It is (I again have no issues imagining) probably incredibly difficult to be a woman in the work place of some of these tech companies. It is (ok, I don't have to imagine this one) true that the internet can be a vile and vicious place, full of hate and anger that are easily expressed behind the veil of anonymity.
But there were two lines in this article that caught my attention and made me want to take notice this morning:
A shame against humanity? Doubting humanity? What faith could we possibly still have in ourselves at this point? We have watched as gunmen have mowed down students in schools. We as a nation came to a grinding halt after terrorists brought down two buildings in New York and did considerable damage to our military headquarters, costing us unbelievable numbers of lives. We have created tools and technology that allow the harassment and bullying of those who are different from us, to the point that they decide ending their life is the only way to achieve peace. After all this and so very much more, how is it possible that any of us have any faith in humanity any more?
But that's not what surprising to me. What is surprising is that those of us who believe in Jesus Christ would allow people to have faith in humanity in the first place. We have all sinned and fall short of the glory of God. There is nothing in humanity in which to place our trust! But thanks be to God that Jesus Christ serves as our redemption. Thanks be to God that Jesus Christ came to a perfectly unloveable humanity to make us his own. Thanks be to God that in spite of myself, in spite of all the ways I screw it up, God loves me anyway. There is nothing to have faith in when it comes to humanity. There is everything to have faith in when it comes to Christ.
What we've done that's so messed up though is that we decide that certain sins, or hurts, or problems, are more pressing than others. What we've done is we've begun labeling this group or that group "sinners," as if the rest of us were clean as a whistle. When we do that, we take our eyes of the ball. We forget that if that group of people can be classified as sinners, we can be three times over. Jesus mentioned this at one point, something about a piece of sawdust when compared to a two by four being wedged in our eye.
So the next time you hear someone say that they have lost faith in humanity, remind them that you never had any. Remind them that humanity isn't what we are called to have faith in in the first place. Remind them that in spite of all the damage we do to each other, in spite of all the hurt and the pain and the sin and the disgustingness, Christ loves us just the same. Remind them that when we label this group or that group as "the problem," we take our eyes off the ball. Remind them that our faith should not be in humanity at all, but that our faith should be in the one who loves us.