Why do some people not tell the truth? Why do some people do things behind another’s back? Why do some people try to manipulate friends or acquaintances to say or do things they normally wouldn’t? 

Sometimes it is because they are trying to cover their tracks and not get caught or blamed for something they did wrong. Skew the facts. Deflect the suspicion onto someone else. 

Sometimes they want to make someone else look bad in a fit of jealousy or rage. 

Sometimes it is because they want to gain something for their own selfish pleasure or advancement. 

I go back to my question. Why?

It’s because we live in a broken world. Since the beginning of humanity humans have always thought they knew better than God. In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve were not satisfied with what God provided, so they disobeyed in order to get more.

God set down expectations for how God wants humanity to live. Far too many thought they knew better and fell hard from grace. 

God continuously pursued humanity, doing his best to have people freely return to him and live in his grace. Yet, his attempts fell on mostly deaf ears.

Yes, God created a perfect world for us. And we broke it. And when things don’t go right? When tragedies strike, when plans don’t go our way, when murder and injustice and hatred all rear their ugly heads – who gets blamed? God!

Friends, it is not God’s fault!! It is ours.

We are the ones who don’t tell the truth; who manipulate persons and circumstances; who sneak around in the darkness doing unspeakable things; who seek pleasures at the expense of others.

 God does not force anyone to do those things. People freely choose to do them. And such choices, I am sure, break God’s heart.

 But God does not – and has not – given up his pursuit of humanity. God came in Jesus Christ to show us how to live, act, and react. God comes in the presence of his Holy Spirit to give us wisdom and courage to live as he desires.

Just as God has not given up on any of us, don’tgive up on him. If you will live by the “royal law,” you will find what God desires. The royal law says, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” If we all did this, imagine what this world would be like.

The Rev. Mark Broadhead is pastor at Laurel Hill Presbyterian Church and First Presbyterian Church of Crestview.