Monitoring our phone conversations, tracking our e-mails and internet browsing, flying drones over the US . . . . one wonders if there is anything that the government doesn’t know about us. It makes me uncomfortable – why? If I haven’t done anything wrong, then why should I worry?
The problem is that everyone has done something wrong; everyone has things that they don’t want brought to light. It goes back to the garden of Eden when Adam and Eve hid themselves with fig leaves after eating from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil. This week, I read a commentary that said the Hebrew word for good, “tov”, not only implies goodness but also openness. Conversely, ra’ (evil), implies hiddenness. Layered with the thought that knowledge in Hebrew is more experiential than intellectual, one realizes that evil makes us hide from each other. In truth, I am uncomfortable with the government’s monitoring because I struggle with evil inclinations and have personal failures. Moreover, I wonder if any human institution can be trusted to consistently use the data for good. Yet, when I stop and think about it, God has better data than the NSA, IRS, FBI, DOJ, and CIA combined. That should scare me even more, but I take comfort in God’s love. He watches everything we do in order to help us become better people. God’s knowing all our data is a prerequisite to His ability to nurture us. Of course, some of us reject Him and will ultimately face the consequences.
But the good news is, that if you accept Him, God does not store our personal data at some massive computer complex in Bluffdale, Utah – He wipes the evil data away when we ask for the forgiveness that is available through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. And maybe if we can model the safe space and unconditional love that God gives us, we might just be able to be more naked and better help each other along the journey of life.
Associate Pastor Emeritus, Greg Zehner