Think America is headed for disaster? Wish everyone would just relax a little bit? Are you paranoid or apathetic?
Believe it or not, such societal norms don't happen in a vacuum but are based largely on context (duh?). There was a study recently that gauged nations on a scale of tightness or looseness. One take away is this:
A study published in Science last week finds that where a nation falls on the tightness-looseness spectrum has much to do with its ecological, historical, and societal threats.
Catch that? Threats. As someone who studied sociology in undergrad I can appreciate the complexities of any society, much less trying to determine the context that has developed. But a study that simply points out that perceived threats lead to how "tight" or "loose" a nation is? Yes please.
It isn't a perfect analogy because individuals vary - but it is true that our boundaries, mores and norms develop from our own (and others) sins. For example if your father is an alcoholic you have good reason to hate drinking.
How interesting then that Jesus Christ, the Son of God, wasn't threatened in the least by the actions of those around him. Despite knowing perfectly the people around him. Despite having knowledge of the intentions of the hearts of his followers and detractors. Time and time again his response of love was out of compassion, not perceived threat or danger.
We Christians would do well to stop feeling threatened and start loving as Christ. Maybe then we can loosen up a bit and quit being such tight wads. Maybe then we can tighten up and not be so lackadaisical.
Interesting article here.