Thursday; December 27
On November 18, 1978 over 900 people took part in what was called a “Revolutionary Suicide” in the jungles of Guyana. For those of us who were young adults during this time, the images are still very real. People – many of whom were our age – had followed Jim Jones to South America where they had set up a communal lifestyle only to become victims of Jones’ selfish power. As the images of the suicides and murders began to come back to the United States one of the most pressing questions was “Why?” ... “Why would people follow him and why would they voluntarily drink a poisoned soft drink just because they were told to do so?” Today, we know a lot more about what happened four decades ago – but, the question remains, “Why?”.
As I thought about the power of Jim Jones I began to think that it may be a lot more common than we can imagine. Sure, very few people take their own lives in a mass suicide, but how many people fall under the spell of sin and evil? People wreck their lives because they follow the god of greed. People ruin their lives with drugs and alcohol because they are lured into believing that if they can just escape their problems life would be easier to live. People destroy their families (and the individuals closest to them) for the promises made by careers, sex or abusive violence. As we take a step back and analyze the damage done by these and so many false hopes we are led back to that same question – “Why?”.
Let’s be careful who or what we allow to lead us off to a promise of some type of better life. Yes, there is a way to achieve peace, happiness and contentment; but, there are also many temptations that are merely baseless promises. We must be wise enough to know the difference!Think About It!