Finally we have had the report about Russian interference in elections. If I understand things right, there’s some evidence of attempted interference in some campaigns and none or little for others. However where there is no evidence of interference that proved that there must have been interference and the government have intentionally looked the other way.
Other examples of evidence for outside interference is that certain campaigns won. This proves Rusian interference because our own politicians couldn’t surely have had the ability to persuade us and whilst we may not be susceptible to the ad campaigns of remainers or brexiteers, we are easily manipulated by “foreign powers” right?
It is far easier to blame outside forces than to take responsibility for our own actions isn’t it? Men blame female fashion for lacking modesty rather than own up to lust. We blame demons, the influence of others, the failings of our churches or even our genetics for our hard hearts, disposition to sin and failure to grow.
I find this illustration helpful when talking pastorally with people (nb borrowed from someone else of course) I take a full glass of water and knock it so that it spills. I ask “Why did the glass spill?” Theinitial answer is that it is because I knocked it but eventually someone says “It is because the glass is full of water.”
As we will see in the next bit of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus turns the focus on what is on the inside of us. In his teaching, he is clear that the problem we have is not what is on the outside but what comes from the inside, from the heart.
True repentance means that I take ownership of my in. It was not the Russians nor demons, it was me. I can acknowledge that knowing there is full and free forgiveness in Christ.