Monsters

Monsters are all the same, it's just that some are more powerful than others, making them scarier. 

Monsters are all the same because they all share one defining characteristic: they want what they want (or, if they're Dracula, "they vant vhat they vant") first and foremost - and they don't care how it affects you. That attitude is downright frightening and typically we refer to it as selfishness.  

Monsters are very selfish. Monsters are so selfish, in fact, that they become defined by their selfishness. The only true descriptor they have is their particular brand of selfishness. Vampires vant blood. Zombies want brains. Grim Reaper wants lives. Satan wants souls. Ghosts want to fulfill the unfulfilled. 

The point is, when you experience a monster, you can identify them and know what they want. You can also know that they are going to do whatever it takes to get it. That's what makes them monstrous.

Even if we give them back stories to prove that they have hearts, they're still monsters. Maybe they were like gentle King Kong, just trying to be free and do what he wants, trapped in a world he doesn't understand. Maybe they were like Frankenstein's creation and life has been foisted on them and they are reacting the only way they know how. Maybe they were all kinds of cute and fluffy, but here's the thing: it doesn't matter. Endearing back story or not, their single-minded pursuit of their personal agenda has turned them into monsters. (Anyone else tired of political ads???)

Monsters are all the same. They all please themselves first, and they're all metaphors for us

When we, doing what we think is smart, try to win in a survival-of-the-fittest mindset, we become monsters, roaming the countryside creating disorder. Governments, armies, and laws work to curb that disorder with weapons and power, but at their best all they can do is keep the monsters at bay.

If you truly want a monster-free world, one without selfishness and disorder, the only weapon that will work is the Gospel. The Gospel takes monsters and makes saints. The Gospel takes selfish people and makes humble people. The Gospel takes disorder and makes peace.

The Gospel, that is, the fact that Jesus lived the selfless life we could not in order to please his Father and took the punishment we deserved for our terribleness, frees us to view the world differently. Instead of seeing only our selfishness, we can see righteousness. 

The Gospel makes us different from monsters. Thank God for that, and happy Halloween.

James 3:13-18

13 Who is wise and understanding among you? Let them show it by their good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom. 14 But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. 15 Such “wisdom” does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.16 For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice.

17 But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. 18 Peacemakers who sow in peace reap a harvest of righteousness.