I was recently in South Africa and our host shared with us many of the problems confronting that nation. He referred to the looting of the nation by previous political leadership and the collapse of trust.
The importance of trust cannot be overstated. When trust collapses so does the very fabric of society – families fracture, business loses confidence, politics breads cynicism and people become guarded, community is damaged and relationships lack depth. Unsurprisingly, corruption breeds corruption not righteousness and people learn to trade in untruths. Sin begets sin. It takes a very wise and committed person to withstand the temptations that come when trust disintegrates. It takes a very courageous individual to challenge the untrustworthy and expose the abuses of trust. However when the righteous courage of the individual says no to evil and calls it out for what it is, it does produce a great society and many privileges.
My South African friend shared with me a moment from one South African newspaper.
“Can you imagine working for a company that has a little more than 500 employees and has the following statistics:
29 have been accused of spousal abuse
7 have been arrested for fraud
19 have been accused of writing bad cheques
117 have directly or indirectly bankrupted at least 2 businesses
3 have done time for assault
71 cannot get a credit card due to bad credit
14 have been arrested on drug-related charges
8 have been arrested for shoplifting
21 are currently defendants in lawsuits
84 have been arrested for drunk driving in the last year
373 in total or approximately 70%
Can you guess which organization this is?
Give up yet?
It's the 535 members of the SOUTH AFRICAN PARLIAMENT - (The same group of morons that crank out hundreds of new laws each year designed to keep the rest of us in line!)”
I am very thankful to be Australian but it is to our peril should we become disengaged. Vigilance is a responsibility and wisdom demands it. When trust is eroded its end is disastrous. How are we going as a nation on matters of trust? The answer to that question begins with you and me personally. So how are you going?
It’s hardly surprising that when you lose the capacity to love your neighbour as yourself and trust breaks down that a proliferation of laws will follow. Cranking out new laws is always a window into personal health and the health of a society. Laws are used or required wherever you see the collapse of trust. For some they are the method by which the corrupt keep control while for others they are the control that prevents corruption.
Personally, I like the two laws that offer us our greatest freedom: Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength and love your neighbour as you love yourself. Get these right and no other laws are required. Who would have thought that just two laws could be so hard to keep? Makes you wonder what the matter is with us all and appreciate how great is the forgiveness that we require.