The other day I was talking with a local man who has been coming to my office frequently. His desire was simply for me to help him think through a process of stress that he was experiencing in a current situation with the local board commissioners. Part of the process we shared was in wondering why people do what they do? Many answers to this (of course), but a general one that I suggested to him is along this line:
Each person in life struggles with one or more things, be they moral dilemmas, financial hardships, poor choices of one sort or another, or the evil workings of others that affect the innocent. Whatever it is, we all have “plagues of the heart.”
How do we handle the particular “plagues” that affect them? Some struggle to find a moral compass, some use people, events, things to cover up and hide from others their failings. Those who struggle to find their moral compass actually look to (and for) a leader that seems to have one. Sometimes the one they look at is the one who is covering up (unbeknown to them). Some put their sails to the wind and are blown about to and fro; they feel as if they have tried and tried and just can’t seem to get their individual lives on the track they need (and desire) to be on. In essence, they give up.
Have you ever had a person like any of the above come your way? Each one of these kinds of people has a façade, a covering that is protective of their inner most being – this is something very normal. When one comes along and removes that façade, vulnerability is exposed and the response to that exposure varies by the person when it is.
Two notable people in Scripture had their façade removed. David was confronted by Nathan, and those who had no interest in a woman had her façade removed as well – the woman caught in adultery. The evil religious leaders brought her (not him) to Jesus for one reason, she was a pawn to expose Jesus. Jesus knew all this and turned it around on them. When their façade was exposed, the Lord asked her the accusers were, why was it that none continued in their condemnation of her. When she replied that there was no one left nearby to condemn her, the Lord said to her that neither was He going to condemn her. His exhortation to her was to go and sin no more. She was exposed, humiliated and, perhaps, destitute. Still she walked away from the Lord with hope. She was caught, exposed, and should have been sentenced to death. She walked away free, covered, and very much alive.
We have our own plagues; to the Lord we have been exposed, but, perhaps, to our neighbor we have still have our façades. When our neighbor removes it, to whom do we turn?