“It’s not a gun problem. It’s heart problem.”
If I hear that one more time I think I am going to scream!
It’s not that I don’t agree with that sentiment, I do. It’s just it comes across as sanctimonious. After all, we never say…
“It’s not an adultery problem. It’s a heart problem.”
“It’s not a drug problem. It’s a heart problem.”
It’s not an unwanted pregnancy problem. It’s a heart problem.”
All are as equally valid as “It’s not a gun problem. It’s a heart problem.”
I know what you are thinking, “Yea, but adultery and drug addiction and abortions are sins, in and of themselves. Guns are inanimate objects and are not sinful in and of themselves. Besides, guns don’t kill people. People kill people.”
True. But our country’s love affair with guns and violence does border on being sinful. Especially among some Christians. (Please notice that I said some, not all.) At times, I get the impression some people are more concerned about the Second Amendment then they are the Second Commandment.
Personally, I’m not against guns. I own a handgun. It was a gift from a friend. I’ve even shot it a time or two. This post is not about gun control. It’s about what our response should be as followers of Jesus. Whatever our response, it should lead us to action. That’s why simply saying, “It’s not a gun problem. It’s a heart problem,” is simply not enough. If anything, such a saying is an excuse to do nothing.
Now is not the time to do nothing.
As a follower of Jesus, what should be my response?
First and foremost, my response should be loving and compassionate. When it comes to gun control, what is the most loving and compassionate thing I can do? Is it to advocate for more guns or less guns? Is it to have stricter background checks? Is it to promote better health care for all, including mental health care? Is it metal detectors and armed teachers? Is there another way to approach this epidemic that is more loving and more compassionate then what I have seen and heard so far? What would Jesus do? How would He respond to mass shootings? Would Jesus own a gun? Would He use a gun to take another life, even in self-defense?
Second, my love and prayers should motivate me to action. John the Elder said, “Dear children, let us not love with words or tongue but with actions and in truth” (1 John 3:18). Simply put, if my opinions do not lead me to take action then my opinions are nothing more than empty rhetoric.
If you think it is a heart problem, what you are doing to change people’s hearts?
If you think the answer is stricter gun control, what you are doing to advocate for more gun control?
If you think the problem is mental illness, what are you doing to help people with mental illness?
If you think the breakdown of the home is the problem, what are you doing to help single parents?
What can you do?
You can write letters to the editor.
You can contact your local, state, and federal representatives.
You can vote.
You can boycott and march and protest and organize.
You can volunteer at your local school or community center.
You can mentor young people.
And yes, you can pray. But remember, prayer is the first step. Taking action is the follow-up step.
Someone wiser then me, said, “At the heart of every problem is a problem of the heart.”
The prophet Jeremiah said, “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9)
Yes, it is a heart problem. But it will take more than heart to solve it. The problems in our society are complex. It will take people of faith, prayer, AND action, to solve them. I desire to be one of those people. Will you join me?