Innocent people ruthlessly murdered without warning. Defenseless men, women, and youth systematically executed for some radical Islamic ideal. The world is in shock! How can eight men get to the point where they can kill people and themselves without remorse?
The short answer is pride and ego. Unfortunately, the power of pride and ego has proven to influence people to commit heinous crimes against humanity and even against themselves. This is what took place in Nazi Germany with the death camps, Japan with kamikaze pilots, or now with Islamic extremists. Unfortunately, this has been going on for millennia and is now being wrapped in a different philosophical package.
It is the power of pride and ego that ignites an “us vs them” mentality. It is the power of pride and ego that elevates self and devalues others, making everyone a friend or foe. It is the power of pride and ego that reframes martyrdom into an act of self-promotion. Pride and ego have always been “the downfall” of man and when taken to the extreme, has extreme and devastating consequences.
As we sit back and mourn with the French in the wake of this tragic loss of innocent life, let’s not miss the root cause of the whole thing. When we sit back and wonder how anyone can strap a bomb to their waist and kill innocent people, let’s not miss the root cause. Islamic extremists aren’t recruiting based on godly ideals, they are promoting a “me first” mentality. They are simply telling people to embrace the full potential of power and ego in the name of Allah.
Scripture is very clear that this has nothing to do with God (see my blog post, Isis and God). Scripture is also very clear that God opposes the proud and will ultimately humble them. Proverbs 15:25 – The Lord tears down the house of the proud.
Therefore, my prayer for Paris is twofold: (1) that God would provide supernatural comfort and healing to those families who have had to endure the devastation of these selfish acts of pride and ego, and (2) that God would humble and “tear down the house” of the Islamic extremist groups around the globe.
I realize that this is a complicated international issue requiring political and military strategies on a global level. So I don’t mean to oversimplify the problem other than to simply encourage all Christians to be praying. Pride and ego are ultimately spiritual issues and we need to be asking God to stop and humble those who are involved that they might turn to Christ.
Please join me and let’s pray for Paris!