The Heaviness of Wickedness
By Rachel Custer
The question was posed by a fellow Christian, a stay-at-home mom of my generation who enjoys social media both to keep up with friends around the world and to stay abreast of basically what is going on in the world at large. While it was voiced to her friends in general, and not just to me specifically, it really resonated with me and I spent several days mulling over her question at the oddest times – while doing the dishes, while up with the baby in the middle of the night, while driving to pick up groceries, and while scrolling through my own news feed. The question was this: “How do you view the world around us, with its wickedness and problems, and then move on with your life without letting it poison you? How can you stay current with world situations and not let them drag you down? We all have different personalities and passions, so each person approaches these things differently, but is it even possible to stay up with what is going on and not let it affect your soul?”
I’ve seen this in my own life. I like to stay up with what is going on in our world, particularly in how it affects Christians in general- and missionaries in particular- that I know and love. There is so much sadness and wrong in our world. It is so easy to see what everyone else is doing wrong, from political leaders to those “millennials” who don’t have a clue. We can get so worked up and post our scathing responses online, then get even more worked up looking at other scathing responses that support or oppose us. It is so easy to fall into that “rabbit hole” of sensational news stories, only to emerge an hour later with a heavy heart and a clear impression that we live in a very, very wicked world.
It catches us by surprise to see the wickedness of man. Sometimes, after seeing four or five articles in a row detailing awful, scary things, you can walk away with the weight of the world on your shoulders. Then, somehow, I need to be a mom, setting the right attitude for my home, and not just feeling depressed about all these complicated situations that I have no control over…and don’t get me started about the fear! How can I possibly raise a child in this world with so many fearful things around every corner? The “what if?” list is endless.
Yes, that same question had been in my mind as well. How can I be informed about our world, but not bring that heaviness into my home sweet home?
A couple days after having these thoughts rattling around in my mind, I was reading Psalm 5. There, right before me, was the answer to my questions, clearly laid out in the Scripture. Let me walk you through it. I don’t have room to type out all the verses here, so if these questions resonated with you too, I encourage you to open your Bible and follow along with me.
There are so many good verses in Psalm 5, and the general theme of the Psalm is talking about how God hates wickedness, but more than that, what my response should be when viewing the wicked of the world. We see God listening to our prayers (v. 1-2), leading us and making our ways straight (v. 8), and blessing the righteous (v. 12). We also see God not taking pleasure in wickedness (v. 4), judging the workers of iniquity (v. 5), and destroying those that rebel against Him (v. 10). But the part that really stood out to me is the Psalmist’s response to 2 types of people: the foolish and unfaithful. After talking about the foolish in verses 4-7, he ends with the decision to worship God. “But as for me, I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercy: and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple.” After talking about the unfaithful in verses 9-11, he ends with the decision to rejoice in his God. “But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.”
As always, the best response in any situation is not to look at the problem, the person, or the pain, but just to fix our eyes on the Lord. We can see the wickedness around us, the foolish and unfaithful of this world, but it should cause us to spend more time meditating on God – to worship Him in fear for Who He is, and to rejoice and be joyful over what He has done for us. Sometimes the wrong we see can be very close to home. It’s hard enough dealing with the “sinners in the world,” but when people that we know and expected much better from, decide to turn away or make very clear unbiblical decisions, that’s a lot harder for our hearts to handle. Yet our response should be the same: to worship and rejoice in the Lord. Perhaps the greatest comfort of all, no matter what situation you are facing or thinking about, is that one day, the Lord is going to set everything right.
It may be a simple response, but it is an effective one! It blessed my heart, and I pray that it blesses yours, as well.