In many Christian circles both prayer and proclamation lift the verse from 2 Chronicles 7:14 with great passion. “If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.”
It is with good reason! Our land is hurting and in deep need of God’s divine healing. Appropriately, this admonition from God addresses the critical fact that the sin and wickedness in our life as a nation has direct—and disastrous—effects on our health as a nation and as a global community. If we are going to call on God to heal our land, to heal our nation, and to heal our human community, it is vital that we are also forthright in changing our wicked ways. Below is a list of ten vital sins of wickedness that are destroying our land. If Christians are going to take 2 Chronicles 7:14 seriously—and we most certainly should take it seriously—these ten wicked acts must be eliminated across the land.
The wickedness and sin of Sodom—Failure to welcome the stranger and those in need. (Ezekiel 16:49)
The wickedness and sin of Religion—Worshipping the religion rather than serving God (Micah 6:6-8)
The wickedness and sin of Exclusion—Failure to care for those in need (Matthew 25:31-46)
The wickedness and sin of Economic Injustice and Inequality—exploitation of the poor and those in need (Amos 2:6-8)
The wickedness and sin of Violence—Using violence to achieve dominance and destroy (Matthew 26:52)
The wickedness and sin of Consumerism—Defining our value and through the things we can own and the wealth we can control (Matthew 6:19-21)
The wickedness and sin of Posturing—Bolstering toughness, authority, and arrogance (James 4:11-16)
The wickedness and sin of Judging—Looking down on others as less than you (Matthew 7:1-5)
The wickedness and sin of Control—The desire to “lord it over” others and maintain total control (Matthew 20:20-28)
The wickedness and sin of Hating the Enemy—Bowing to a culture of hate and contempt for human beings we believe are at eminently with us (Matthew 5:43-47)
These are national sins as well as personal and individual sins. They are expressed as wickedness in our homes and offices, school yards and town squares. They permeate the culture to infect many aspects of business, government, and even the church. They are fueled by social media, fear-based politics, and biased media attention. Like a cancerous infection, this wickedness is spreading through the culture and the church. It is time that the people of faith intentionally humble ourselves and pray and seek God’s face and turn from our wicked ways.
Our faith in Jesus Christ calls for no less, and empowers us for so much more. We need only follow—truly and honestly follow—Jesus Christ.