This week we remembered the terror attacks that took place on September 11th, 2001. It is hard for me to believe that it has been 16 years since. A lot has changed since then, yet so much has not. The same people that committed these atrocious acts still exist in this world and we still fear another event like this happening again.
On Facebook and other social media threads I have noticed a trend concerning the events of 9/11. Many people are sharing stories about where they were on that day. It is amazing to read their stories, yet it has also provided me with an insight to the on going conflicts in our world. The insight I have had is that we (as in EVERYONE in this world) are egocentric. Think about what egocentric means. Egocentric refers to the natural limitation on our perception caused by the simple truth that we can only see the world from our perspective. We see the world from the inside out, a fact that leads everyone to be at least somewhat self-centered. As a result we often find ourselves in conflict with one another because we naturally see things from our own point of view.
Scripture knows this to be true. In James 4:1-12 we read, “What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions. You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God?…” In this segment of Scripture we read that what causes us to quarrel is a passion from within. How can we have peace with our brother or sister if we cannot have peace within ourselves. We desire what we want so much that we are willing to fight for it.
The fool is the person that cannot see beyond their own point of view. Hear what Proverbs 18:2-3 have to say, “Fools find no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing their opinion. When the wicked arrive, so does contempt; with shame comes insult.”
I believe what happened on 9/11/2001 was evil and should not be condoned, but I believe it will happen again. It will happen again because we will, in this world, always be restricted by that fact that we perceive the world from the inside-out. Jesus came not only to save us from slavery to sin and death, but also to show us how to have a godly perspective. Jesus came so that we may have new life and have it abundantly. The old life lead to death, but the way of Christ is a different perspective that leads to life abundantly. When we love our neighbors as we love ourselves we acknowledge that we have an inside-out perspective, but we will use that perspective to put others first.
In God’s grip,
Rev. Chuck Church
Lead Pastor, Cornerstone UMC