Just another traveler on life’s highway hanging out in the slow lane. It’s quiet. It’s peaceful. Beyond the horizon is rest calling my name. Green pastures, still waters, my cup is overflowing.
Flip Wilson, in his wildly popular variety show from 1970-1974, introduced the character “Geraldine” to his audience. Geraldine will remain forever remembered for her line, “The devil made me do it.”
The devil made me do it. The horned and tailed trouble-maker has been a scapegoat for millions of people over many centuries. That hell-raiser has had numerous names in various civilizations, but the purpose is the same – give humanity an entity to blame for its faults. Rather than assume responsibility for the acts we commit against others, that fellow sitting on our left shoulder whispering in our ears becomes the universal scapegoat.
Tribalism is founded on scapegoating. Whether my tribe is a government, a race, a creed, a social order, a caste system, or a religion, when it agrees on a common foe as the enemy to be feared or despised, discrimination and intolerance are born. But it all starts with me nurturing the fear and distrust which has been indoctrinated into my tribal mindset. I need a thorough “brainwashing.”
How does that happen? My personal answer, although not yet perfected, is to replace those “Geraldine” moments with faith and trust. Replace the scapegoating with inner transformation which uncovers my faults, my defects, and my hatred in need of correction. Stop blaming the devil. I need to grow up into the human being I was designed to be.
“When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But, when I grew up I put away childish things.” 1 Corinthians 13:11