This past Monday, a 16-year-old who had been within the doors of a church most weeks for the last several months, who had just recently been baptized and shared his testimony, and who seemed to everyone who loved him to be doing rather well, walked into my hometown public library with two handguns and shot four women, a man, and a 10-year-old boy. Two of the women died, the rest are in bad shape.
I didn’t know this kid, but a few of my friends knew him very well. They are all in shocked disbelief. They all knew he had struggles, but again, things had been better. He was reconnecting with his faith, he had a girlfriend who loved him, he was making positive friendships at church events… but apparently the pain inside and the outside influences overwhelmed him to the point where his mind was twisted into thinking that the only way to deal with the pain was to inflict it on others.
Cryptic YouTube videos have since been discovered that appear to have been recorded by him. In one of the videos, he describes the anger he has welled up from a life of being bullied. Last Friday, he got into a fight with what some of his classmates say was someone who bullied him, and he got suspended.
So, what went wrong? He had recently returned to church, has a girlfriend, was making friends.
But even with all this, the darkness still took over in the end, and seemingly out of nowhere.
Aaron Jeffries | @churchhusher
Happy New Year! First I want to thank you readers for growing with me over the last year. I’m really thankful for getting to know the handful of you that have connected with me. Thank you so much for sharing my articles as well. Lets just jump in shall we?
I’m a pretty upbeat guy. I like to roll with the punches and just be happy. But another side of me, seems to feed off negativity, I can be happy all day long but the moment someone is negative in front me; it becomes like an addiction for me and I have to get more of it.
I am reminded of the words of Paul here in Romans:
For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.
Romans 7:15-25 ESV