Every child asks. You hear it even from adults. Why can’t humans get along with other humans? Seems simple enough – every child ask the same question: why don’t they just get along? Why don’t people treat each other well? Why do people do bad things?
Why won’t they all just play nice already?!?!?!?!
Again, not just kids – ninety percent of our political rhetoric is based on the idea that everything would be fine if ‘they’ would just play nice (and do it our way). YOU should be more tolerant. THEY should do this. If only THE OTHER GUYS would behave…
Why don’t they just… get along?
Christianity comes with three really simple rules: 1) Love God with all your heart, strength, mind and spirit; 2) Love your neighbor (other people) as you love yourself; 3) Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. If we could keep just those three, the rest wouldn’t be so hard. We could ‘get along’ – at least with each other.
But try as we might, we fall short – we CAN’T keep those three simple rules all by ourselves.it takes a lifetime of walking humbly with our Lord before those ‘rules’ become such a part of us that we can’t NOT keep them. Why? Because we can’t keep them at all apart from Him.
Pretty basic, simple Christianity 101 – for those of us who follow Christ, this is ridiculously obvious. It’s also the answer to the question of why humans don’t get along.
Because we’re not perfect, not sinless, and not fundamentally good. We’re flawed, rebellious, and selfish. The good in us – the image we’re made in – is an invitation, not a predestination. Without God, we can’t keep the flaws, the rebelliousness and the selfishness in check. We win the occasional battle but lose the war. That’s what it is to be human in a fallen world.
And why people do bad things to other people. The reason why we don’t treat each other well. The core of why we can’t just get along.
The answer is simple – it is not easy. That too, is part of our problem – we’d rather have a complex easy answer _preferably where THEY are the ones that have to change – than a simple, difficult answer where WE have as much work to do as THEY do.
Nothing harder – humans like scapegoats – so much easier to hate THEM for causing the PROBLEMS by being the wrong nationality, skin color, religion, creed, political party, and having the wrong friends, advantages, disadvantages, ideas or history. We just run through them in cycles: not my tribe/clan/nation = hate. Not my race/complexion/level of beauty = hate. Not my political party/political ideology/political views = hate. Not my side of the street/neighborhood/peer = hates ’em foreveressss.
And yes, we act JUST like Gollum as we cling to our Precious – whatever that happens to be – and react with fury and hatred to anything that threatens that Precious thing. We pride ourselves in our ENLIGHTENMENT – hey, WE don’t burn crosses in peoples yards or anything – but then spew vile, vulgar, raw hatred at anyone that doesn’t agree with us on the Internet. How different are we, really?
We aren’t. Still size human, still flawed, rebellious and selfish. Still us. The venues change with the decades – our hate fads sadly outliving some of our fashion fads – but the core remains what it always was. WE want THEM to change – WE don’t want to have to change. WE are GOOD; THEY are BAD.
There is none good, no, not one…
BUT with GOD, ALL THINGS are POSSIBLE.
We don’t get along because we aren’t wanting Him more than US.
Simple, but not easy.
I know, ’cause I’m not living up to this either. Not the part where I want what He wants – where I get my temper under control, my act in gear, and let Him change me. That has to change – right now.
But He’s more than up to the challenge. With God, all things are possible.