Tuesday, 30 September 2008

encouraging a grace-free society

There's an advert almost non-stop on the cable channels which winds me up to fever pitch. You know the one; there's a dodgy copper-actor from the Bill spouting new-age sounding tosh:

It is said that the universe is in a delicate state of spiritual balance.
If you find yourself injured, and it’s someone else’s fault, you can either say ‘it’s fate; an unavoidable destination on the journey of my life,’ or you can say ‘I absolutely did not deserve that,’ and call [company name deleted to protect the deeply guilty] They’re real laywers who specialise in getting you the exact amount of compensation you deserve: 100% of it. So with their help, the universal balance is restored.

Now, call me a wierdo for shouting at the telly, but this seems to utterly undermine any option I might choose to hold.

I might decide not to assign the events to an uncaring, impersonal universe in which I'm merely a cog in the unending wheel of life. Personally, I find this idea repellant, as it denies the existence of God and gives me no sense of self-worth or purpose. My injury is just tough luck and part of the accident of human evolution.

By the same token, I mght choose not to cry out 'I deserve more respect, and somebody's going to be made to pay for this insult to my pride and the hurt to my body, which I prize above everythng else in this world, except perhaps the money I can make from this! I want all the compensation I deserve. 100% of it.'

The blame culture, litigation and propping up my injured arrogance are loathsome attitudes to have, and it's appalling that this advert actively encourages the greed. I feel sure that if I was to be harmed by someone else, I'd have feelings of rsentment and harbour desires for revenge. This sort of advertising plays upon those dark, unworthy, selfish feelings.

Yes, someone else should have taken more care or trouble. But what about forgiveness, mercy, grace, peace-making and not 'standing up for your rights'?

Isn't that the way Jesus woud prefer? Actually, isn't that the way Jesus acted when he had every opportunity to complain about the unfair injuries others were causing him unjustly...

Makes you think, doesn't it? And if not, why not? Exactly how much is 100% of the compensation you deserve? By Bible reckoning, none, since you don't deserve anything except judgement. You may have received mercy through the death of Jesus Christ, and if so, then remember the bit that says 'forgive us our trespasses as we forgive them that trespass against us.' Matthew 6:12

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