Because one person disobeyed God, many became sinners. But because one other person obeyed God, many will be made righteous. (Romans 5:19)
Relate: I was reading a brief article in Time magazine called the States of Happiness. In it, they had this to say of the emerald country: “Debt-laden Ireland faces a gloomy economic future, yet its population is among the cheeriest on the planet, reporting high levels of well-being and contentedness.”
I’m ashamed to admit it but the first thing I thought when I read this was, “Well, there’s something to be said for drunkenness.” For good or ill, there are national stereotypes that do exist. Volkswagon likes to brag about “the power of German engineering.” The Italians are passionate yet disorganized. The Japanese have a culture of rigid honor. The British are incredibly polite… unless they start talking football (what lazy Americans call soccer). The Spanish (and Latin cultures) like their afternoon naps. The Swiss are the opposite. They have no army but every army uses Swiss knives.
Did you ever wonder where these national stereotypes came from? They didn’t always exist. Go back far enough and it was the Italians (Romans) who had the engineering while those Germans were passionate and disorganized. For right or wrong I tend to hold the view that history is marked by great men, leaders for good or ill, who stood against the flow of society and created a new flow in their wake. Because of one man, a national stereotype is born. While in some instances this view may be wrong, with regard to sin and grace, I know for a fact I am right.
React: Just think. Adam sinned. He and his wife introduced to the world a pattern, a habit of destructive behavior and the entire flow of human history got caught up in that current. There was no way to resist it. No way to go against that flow, until Jesus. Now there are two flows, two streams that carry us along: sin and grace. Which one pulls at us depends entirely with where we choose to stand. Am I standing with Adam (literally, “man”) or will I stand for Christ? Will I be caught by His grace or dragged along by the sin of the world?
Thank You, Jesus for standing against the current of sin. Thank You for providing a new way, a new current in history. Help me to stand now with You. Help me to walk in Your flow, creating a new wake behind me making it even easier for those who come behind to follow You. Don’t let me use national stereotypes as an excuse for my sin. Don’t let me use the human condition as a cop out for not living free of sin. You have provided a new way. A better way. Help me to walk in it.