In recent years, thoughtful people from all walks of life have become increasingly concerned with preserving and protecting our natural environment. There was a time when such concern was expressed by only a few scientists; and they, for the most part, were regarded as radicals and alarmists. The rest of us seemed to think this earth was so expansive and so enduring that we could abuse it forever without noticeable consequence.
Now, we are being forced to change our thinking. The years of neglect have started to take their toll, and it is becoming increasingly clear that environmental pollution is a very real and immediate problem. For the first time we are starting to see that if this earth is to take care of us and our children then we must learn to take care of it. Air pollution, water pollution, and soil pollution are no longer just topics of discussion in a college classroom. They are here and now issues of our daily lives.
People of wisdom everywhere are informing themselves and preparing themselves to work for the protection of our natural environment. But we can’t stop with that; there is another dimension to the problem, equally as serious – moral pollution.
The Lord tried to get people to understand that the wrongness in their lives had to do with the condition of their heart. Sin had not entered them from without; it had originated right there within themselves. Moral pollution wasn’t something the world had done to them; it was something they were doing to the world.
At least we know where the moral pollution is coming from. All we have to do is look within ourselves. Every wrong deed in this world can be traced back to an individual life. Should we ever decide to work on solving the moral pollution problem, we’ll know where to start. The logical place for every person is his or her own heart. Correct the wrong attitudes, stop the flow of unkind words, repent of the evil done and the good left undone – do those things in your own life and you will have reduced the level of moral pollution in this world by that much.
Nothing magic, nothing easy, but sometimes quite simple. The only real remedy to the problem of moral pollution that plagues our world is for every person, with God’s help, to clean up his or her own life. Whatever anyone else in this world may choose to do, you and I can still breathe the clean air of forgiven sin and drink the clear water of life. We do not have to live lives of moral pollution.
I would not, for one moment, belittle the seriousness of our moral failure. Its consequences are far worse than we will probably ever know. But neither would I belittle the grace of God in Jesus. He can handle our pollution problem, whatever it might be. The only contingency is whether or not we are willing to accept His help.