Thursday, March 15, 2012

Khushwant Singh

Despite having cheerfully claimed the label of “India’s Dirty Old Man” that others have thrust on him, Khushwant Singh confesses now that he has always had “a kind of missionary purpose” in his writing: to debunk religious beliefs that had no foundation whatsoever in reason. It’s that same mission which spurred him into writing The Sunset Club: “Religion has been my main target because the religions we practise are pure mythology. Nobody knows if there’s one god or three gods, or a hundred gods. Nobody has a clue who created the world, where we came from, where we go after we die. I felt it was time somebody had the courage to say: ‘I don’t know and I will only concern myself with the existence of life: not where I came from, nor where I go after I die.’”

In any given situation, how do we know the right thing to do?

Some people make their decisions about what’s right by listening to popular radio hosts. Others make their determinations by watching television talk shows. Some believe that politicians – great orators and public intellectuals – will tell us the right thing to do. Still others believe that celebrities – movie stars, athletes, best-selling authors – have some special insight into the right way to act.

For a person who hopes to find the best standard by which to measure his conduct, things can get confusing. After all, there are so many options out there, and so many influential personalities competing for our attention, that it can become quite difficult to make a decision. Ultimately, it sometimes seems easier simply to throw up our hands and despair of ever finding an answer. Maybe, we might conclude, people should just do whatever they want … and we’ll hope for the best.

No leader stood up for what was right, and no one stopped for a moment to consider the ramifications of their own actions. Consequently, people began to forget how to live together peaceably – people stopped speaking productively with each other – and society began to descend into anarchy. 

This passage should serve as a cautionary reminder to all of us. It is absolutely crucial that we strive to make common cause with our neighbours, friends, and acquaintances. We must talk with them. Try to comprehend their perspective on things. See how they think and feel. Only through such sensitivity to, and understanding of, our fellow man can we hope to build a society – hopefully a sanctified and biblically oriented one – of which we may all be proud!

Don't get stuck on where you were. Don't waste your time focusing on what you used to be. Remember, the hope we have in Christ means there's a brighter tomorrow. Sins are forgiven. Shame is cancelled out. We're no longer chained to a deep, dark pit of the past. Grace gives us wings to soar beyond it.

Could it be that you are stuck because of something from your past? Perhaps it has pinned you to the ground with embarrassment, shame, and fear. You're crippled by it. The best you can do is to limp through each day, hoping for a painless end. That way of thinking is from the enemy, Satan. He loves to push your nose in the dirt, hoping to make you miss the marvellous claims of grace.

Don't allow him that power in your life today. Around you are people who have no greater claim on grace than you do, and the Lord mercifully brought them out of their pit of sin. If He could turn a Saul of Tarsus, who was engaged in a murderous rampage, into a Paul the apostle, who preached and lived the message of grace, He can change your life too.


Raj Kosaraju

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