Oxfam. Harvey Weinstein. Larry Nassar. The Presidents Club. Barry Bennell. #MeToo.
Whether it’s prostitutes in Haiti or young gymnasts in training, the sexual abuse accusations just keep appearing. Large scale scandals that shock our society. ‘How is this still happening in 2018?!’ people ask. ‘This is a blight on society’, they say. They’re right. It is a blight on society. And there are many reasons why it is still happening.
One of these reasons is collusion. Whether on a massive scale, like the accusations levelled at Michigan State University in the Larry Nassar case, or on a smaller scale, where safeguarding procedures are overlooked, friends protected, or victims not believed, collusion is everywhere.
It’s in our businesses. Our workplaces. Our supply chains. Even, I’m ashamed to say, in our churches.
If you’re anything like me, you’ll think that scandals happen ‘out there’. You, like me, will be convinced that if you were to come across anything illegal or ethically questionable, you would immediately put a stop to it. Blow the whistle. Tell someone.
Except it’s rarely that simple, and most big scandals – like everything else – are made up of a collection of smaller choices. One decision at a time.
So, what if the smallest decisions of our daily lives were actually forming us the most?
One click. One purchase. One email. One word. One promise. One lie.
It adds up.
It’s likely that most of us reading this won’t be faced with big choices about disclosing large-scale abuse scandals. We probably won’t have to do what Rachel Denhollander did, and be the first in what became a line of over 250 girls accusing a former coach of sexual abuse.
But we will – just like everyone else – never be more than three clicks away from pornography every time we open our internet browser. We will make decisions about where we bank, and how we spend our money. We will make snap choices about whether to speak up or remain silent.
What if the smallest decisions of our daily lives were actually forming us the most?
Act justly. Love mercy. Walk humbly with your God.
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves.
Defend the rights of the poor and needy.
Look after widows and orphans in their distress.
Offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God.
In small decisions as in anywhere else, this is our true and proper worship.