I love the quote of G.K. Chesterton in a letter to the editor of a local newspaper. The London Times once sent out an inquiry to famous authors, asking the question, “What’s wrong with the world today?” Chesterton responded simply, “Dear Sir, I am. Yours, G.K. Chesterton”
In 1910, Chesterson published a collection of essays inspired by this same title. I’ve been listening to a LibriVox audio recording of this book.
In Ephesians 4 Paul drives home a strong exhortation to the saints (Christ-followers) who made up the church in Ephesus. Note the pastoral ‘tone’ in this paragraph of exhortation. Are you willing to have leaders challenge your conduct with such words? To what degree do you demonstrate ‘futile thinking?’
“So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for me.” (Epehsians 4:17-19)
What is the condition of those outside of Christ?
1) Their thinking is futile. They may be intelligent but they are not wise. Their minds are functioning but they are limited to human resources.
2) Their understanding is darkened. Their minds are ‘in the dark’ and they have adjusted their perspective accordingly. They have rejected the true Light and now pursue darkness with a vengeance.
3) Their condition is separation from God. They have rejected God’s ways, God’s word, God’s will and have hardened their hearts against the promptings of His Spirit.
4) They have an insatiable appetite for evil. Ignoring the twinges of their conscience and the conviction of God’s Spirit, they have lost ‘all sensitivity.’ Evil doesn’t bother them and they have pursued increasing forms of evil as time as progressed.
What an indictment of guilty sinners from the ‘Judge of all the earth!’ How shall they then plead before God when faced with the unmistakeable evidence He has gathered from their minds, wills and emotions? Shall they resist His convicting Spirit and heap up for themselves further condemnation, or will they repent, turn from their sin and call upon the name of the LORD for salvation?
How would Chesterton respond to the current crisis which evidences the sinfulness of human hearts? I’m sure he’d write about the issue but acknowledge openly the bent of his own heart. Well might we pray, “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions. Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.” (Psalm 51:1,2)