It can be very easy to see the sin in another society but hard to detect it in our own nation. This comes from a general desire to like where we live and have a sense of national pride. The “blind to our own sin” reality also springs from the fact that we don’t like bad news that hits close to home.
A particular practice may seem normal or acceptable to us while others might consider it barbaric. We can be too close to our sin to be objective about it. Besides, we don’t like the word sin any way. It is far too honest. We prefer to think of them as indiscretions or mistakes.
It tends to be human nature to give ourselves the benefit of the doubt while we ascribe the worst possible motives to others. I confronted this reality in a recent interview with a businessman from South Africa. He told me that his company had to go to considerable effort to train some workers from more remote areas. They were not accustomed to using a toilet. He even tried to “civilize” some actions that were not beneficial to workers or their families. For example, this man trained his workers not to beat their wives. It is a commonly accepted practice that men in some areas of Africa beat their wives to keep them in submission. The men feel this will insure that the wife will be loyal and do a good job in their role.
My business contact said that his company held a love poem contest and offered prizes for the men to give their wives. The winners were surprised when they found out how these gifts and token of love worked better than the beatings. While hearing this, I thought about how barbaric these people must be. Then all of a sudden, I heard the Spirit say to me that we in the great “civilized” West have our own barbarisms.
According to the Guttmacher Institute, which tracks reproductive health issues, women in the United States have well over one million abortions per year. America continues to gobble up a huge amount of resources that causes others to pay the price. The United States has the largest prison population in the Western world. This is just a quick sampling of our national “issues.”
I guess my point is that we are all sinners. Each nation has its good and bad points. We must be careful thinking higher of ourselves than we ought. Some nations have more progress although there is no utopia.
It all starts with taking the huge beam out of our eye before we try to fix other nations.